How to (not) win friends and influence people.

Struggling to bring new clients on board? Not sure where you’re going wrong when it comes to impressing the right people? This article has all the answers.

It’s very important when running your own business, to maximise the potential of gaining clients from anywhere, everywhere and anywhere. This can be done in a number of ways and the methods to win friends I’m going to share with you here should be used at least at every opportunity, if not more often.

Networking

1. When attending a networking event, make sure you have enough business cards and brochures to hand out to every attendee. To be on the safe side, I would also recommend handing them out to the staff at the venue and passers-by on your way to the event.

2. Introduce yourself to everyone. Don’t worry if they are in the middle of a conversation with someone else – it’s vital that you get yourself out there with confidence and energy.

3. Make sure you stand out from everyone else by speaking loudly and quickly. This will ensure that no-one forgets you.

4. Make sure that you criticise your competitors openly and often so there is no doubt as to who runs the best business.

5. Try and solve people’s problems by mentioning your outstanding range of skills and knowledge, even when completely irrelevant.

Make sure you stand out from everyone else by speaking loudly and quickly. This will ensure that no-one forgets you.

Social Media:

1. Make sure that you have a professional image on all your social media. Men must be wearing a three piece suit and women a knee length skirt and hair in a chignon. Do not smile.

2. When posting on social media, do not display any hint of personality, humour or charisma as these will not be appreciated by potential clients.

3. When you gain new followers or contacts, immediately send them an unbeatable offer for your products or services, even if it’s completely unrelated to what they do.

4. Do not ever mention anything other than work. Nobody wants to know about your children, dog, horse or any hobbies that you have, particularly if they appear to be fun. Successful people do not have a life outside work.

5. Take any opportunity available to promote your business. One good way is to comment on other businesses’ posts offering your services to their followers. You can also share your competitors’ posts as your own, which saves you having to do the work.

6. Consistently share your business posts on your personal profile and ask your friends and family to give you contact details of people they know without asking for permission.

Consistently share your business posts on your personal profile and ask your friends and family to give you contact details of people they know without asking for permission.

Marketing

1. When sending out emails, letters or any other form of correspondence, always use the term “we”, rather than “I”. Nobody in their right mind wants to do business with a sole trader who works from their spare bedroom.

2. When calling to make appointments, speak with an accent and pretend to be a member of your administration team. This makes your business sound far larger and more professional than if it were just you calling.

3. Following on from point 2, when answering the phone pretend to be a receptionist who says you’re in an executive meeting and that they will have to schedule a time for you to speak to them. Never let them know that you are available immediately. People don’t care if you are actually any good at what you do, as long as you are in demand.

4. Make up some fantastic testimonials to go on your website – the more the better. This will make you look highly successful and sought after. Most potential clients aren’t able to determine for themselves if a supplier is right for them, they just need to believe that others think so.

5. When people unsubscribe from your list, make sure to add them back on immediately so they continue to receive your sales messages.

When calling to make appointments, speak with an accent and pretend to be a member of your administration team.

Client meetings

1. First impressions are everything. To make sure that you grab the full attention of the other person, step into their personal space, strongly grab their hand, stare into their eyes whilst stating your name and sales pitch. This always goes down well and makes you stand out from the crowd.

2. Maintain eye contact always. When you are having a conversation with someone, stare directly into their eyes continuously. Looking away will convey weakness and insecurity.

3. People like confidence – stand with your feet apart, shoulders back and gesticulate freely to convey your message. The occasional punching of the arms of men or placement of your arm around the shoulders of women when you feel they are not paying enough attention to what you’re saying is encouraged.

4. Don’t answer questions directly. People don’t know what they don’t know; make sure you only ever tell them what you want them to think.

5. NEVER say “I don’t know”. This is why we have an imagination. If you are asked a question and are unsure of the answer, make it up. It is highly unlikely that you will be found out and you will come across as extremely well informed and intelligent.

If you follow these guidelines in every interaction, you can be sure to win friends and quickly gain a reputation with both your clients and peers alike.

People don’t know what they don’t know; make sure you only ever tell them what you want them to think.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tongue-in-cheek look at winning friends and influincing people.

Come on over and join the chat in my Faceook group – Braving Business.

This article was originally published on Flying Solo.