Here’s the Situation: About a year ago, I changed my route to work, causing me to pass through a small town at least twice per day. One day, I stopped to browse in a lovely antique store. As I entered the store, the owner was sharing a relaxing chat with a friend in the rear of the store.
Here’s the Stupid Mistake: The owner didn’t get up, greet me, or ask me if I was looking for something in particular. In fact, she ignored me completely. Although I found a few items that interested me, I wasn’t inclined to interrupt a conversation to ask for information or a price. I felt both irritated and invisible. Although I love antiques and have passed this antique store at least 1000 times in the last year, I’ve never gone inside again. I am decidedly resistant to this store–I have no receptivity to the store’s charms.
Here’s the Solution: No matter what situation you find yourself in, receptivity to your ideas is key to your success. Whether the situation involves sales, a training class, a meeting, a networking event, or you are speaking from a large stage, the people in the room want to be acknowledged. If you are in charge of a meeting, or the speaker at an event, go out of your way to welcome people, respect their time and let them know you understand their frustrations. Even when you have no leadership responsibilities in a situation, make the first move to introduce yourself to others.
It might seem like a simple thing, but a gracious greeting can open others up to be receptive to your proposals and your products. A little investment here will go a long way to increasing your persuasive powers.