All of us have habits, some good, others bad. Obviously, we want to stop, or downplay, the bad ones while we want to solidify, or refine, the good habits. We have habits that occur in our personal lives and ones from our business lives. As we have discussed over and over, all our habits will show up in both our personal and business lives.
We must recognize our bad habits and try to refine them into good ones. Some of us are shy or bashful; others may be obnoxious, loud, and bombastic. Obviously, these are habits, or beliefs, to which we should apply correction. Maybe we try to turn them around, becoming more self-confident or less imposing. Perhaps we should attempt to eliminate the habits altogether.
An example of an excellent habit is what we should do when we meet someone new. It doesn’t matter how we meet someone for the first time, this habit could apply. Whether it is at a networking meeting, or a social event, we should use some version of this habit. Apply this habit in a comforting manner, and success will follow for us.
First, make some conversation to determine the other person’s nature and if they are open to our trying to deepen the discussion. Ask them how they are and learn why they are at the event. We should be able to lead the discussion into what they do for their business. This is where we have the opportunity to ask for their business card, offering ours as an exchange. Make sure their card contains their mailing address.
Next, look at their business card and ask some questions regarding their work, without being excessively inquisitive. We must not be perceived as threatening, but we must be seen as politely interested. Make some statement about their business and how a further conversation might provide a way to assist them in their business. Perhaps a question as to what type of referral they could use might pave the way for follow-up.
After the initial meeting, we should send them an email thanking them for the conversation, saying that we will be contacting them in the future. Then send them a personal card, like the email, thanking them again. As Tom Hopkins teaches, there is nothing better than a thank you card.
After the card should arrive, give them a call asking if a conversation over coffee is possible, and set the appointment. Before that meeting verify the date and time by email or message. At the meeting we should discover further details of their work and ask how we may help them find whatever they need to make their work more successful. Then try to find solutions to their needs, no matter whom we may refer to do so. Next, we should follow-up with another thank you card.
Every business person, whether they are the business owner or an employee, has habits. Either through self-recognition or through our networking partners, we must correct the bad habits and refine and improve the good ones. It is up to us to take the steps to develop ourselves and our businesses so that our habits bring us success.