Business Marketing: 7 #PeopleSkills Mistakes to Easily Avoid
by Kate Nasser | 4 Comments »
Business Marketing: People Skills Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid
Every leader and business owner knows that business marketing and networking are essential to success. Whether face-to-face, on the phone, or on social media, our interaction with people matters. Are you making people skills mistakes that hurt your business marketing? Here are several you can easily avoid!
Grateful for image from Jeffrey Betts, MMTStock
Avoid These People Skills Mistakes in Business Marketing
Interaction matters when you are doing business marketing and networking. How you behave, speak, and follow-up can make or break you.
Here are true stories of people skills mistakes in business marketing that you can easily avoid.
Mistake: Treating People as a Target. I received an invitation to join someone’s LinkedIn network. I viewed their profile and said yes. When I accepted I sent a message asking a few questions to show interest in their work. They responded: I didn’t contact you at random. Would you like to take our training course and be certified in our special communication model? No I wouldn’t. My impression of them is negative. They have no time to learn about me nor tell me about themselves. They come across as foraging for sales and devoid of people skills. Ironically they are selling communication training. How absurd. Take time to build relationships and trust. It changes everything!
Mistake: Focusing on yourself. A potential customer agreed to speak with a web designer she met online. She asked a couple of times to speak on the phone and he kept pushing the idea of SKYPE. She finally agreed to SKYPE and during the entire conversation he talked about his integrity, his vision, his preferences in designing. She ended the call and all contact with him. She told me: He is full of himself. Tip: Ego can kill many things including your business marketing. Focus on the customer!
Mistake: Taking steps you really don’t mean. I received an email from another customer service consultant/speaker. He mentioned he would do speaking engagements that others don’t like. He gave a few examples. It was a very creative business marketing approach — or so I thought. I emailed him back that I might refer some customers to him. I suggested we speak on the phone or SKYPE. His reply: I’m really busy and anyway it was just a casual email. Huh? You are taking up people’s time with a casual email? Tip: When you ask for others’ attention in business marketing, don’t slam the door shut when they respond.
Mistake: Using sexual references. I had attended a business marketing event and the speaker was very good. We spoke briefly at the event and his wife/partner did a follow-up mailing. We all agreed to meet over coffee to explore some business ideas. It turned out he just wanted my customer list. I declined. He then replied: I guess I’m too direct. I forget that women like foreplay and we men like to get right to the sex. My intuition about his character was right. Can you imagine if I had connected him with my customers? Being crude is not a good business marketing strategy. Tip: Avoid sexual references. They can offend. Language gives you many impressive ways to communicate your point. Choose great words that don’t offend.
Mistake: Creeping people out by knowing too much about them. One of my customers told me a solar panel company rep called him at home. The rep knew my customer’s salary and net worth. He used this information to convince my customer that he could afford solar panels. My customer told me it was a shock to hear a stranger telling him so much about his own financial picture. He said no to the rep and the solar panels. Tip: Respect people’s privacy. Don’t collect and share data to manipulate them.
Mistake: Not listening. A few years back I was looking for a graphics designer to create my speaker ONE sheet for business marketing. I called a well-known designer that many speaker groups had promoted. In our first (and only) phone call, she kept trying to sell me her book. Instead of listening to what I needed, she focused on her predetermined business goal. I couldn’t imagine working with her since she showed little interest in my needs. I went back to social media and found Kimb Manson Graphic Design. I called Kimb and we were soon discussing my needs. I knew immediately that I could work with her. Her people skills made the business marketing come to life. Her creative skills made the ONE sheet come to life. It is no surprise that she is ranked very high on Google in graphics design for speakers.
Mistake: Sharing your baggage or dirty laundry. Every business has good times and bad. When marketing to customers, share the good times. Once you understand what they want and need, show them how your product, service, and expertise will make them successful as well. If you frequently talk about the bad times you had with other customers, they may wonder what you will say about them. Tip: With customers, speak positively not negatively and forward not back.
Proficient people skills in business marketing create a great first impression, build trust, and a wonderfully memorable experience. I would be pleased to share even more people skills tips at your business group or company event.
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™
13 Key People Skills for Business & Career Success
Social Media: Are You Using These People Skills
Modern People Skills Reminders for Social Media Greatness
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Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.
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What’s most interesting about this list is that clearly you’ve met every one of these people! It’s not theoretical, it’s real. And that’s both funny and sad.
But while we can chuckle at other people’s cluelessness, I can also see where I’ve made mistakes similar to these (Oh, not nearly as bad though, right? LOL). Most of them from being overeager or over committing.
Always so very helpful to put yourself in the other person’s shoes to see how an approach is being perceived. And to be reminded that we all want to be treated as a person, with respect.
Thank you Beth for your insight. These are very human feelings. Awareness (a bit of vigilance) and a great deal of empathy before we speak can prevent these avoidable missteps. As for my meeting these people — I do wonder about that. I sometimes think I am more attune to it because of the work I do. Although when it comes to the “creepy” ones I wonder if I have a cloud hanging over me LOL.
Many thanks for your contribution to this discussion. I look forward to your future comments.
Floored by so many of these but when I read #4, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. Crazy and thank goodness that person did not have access to your customers.
A few years ago when I was a VP responsible for a large scale change program I heard a speaker at a conference talk about his successful approach to change and I set up time to talk about engaging him. We spoke a few times and he even submitted a proposal but at the same time, I also followed him on social media. Every single one of his posts on social platforms used phrases that always included the words “me,” “my” or “I.” There was never engagement or sharing of ideas other than his own. I began to notice similar phrasing in our calls – he was pushing so hard that what he showed me was that I was buying his expertise and experience but no collaboration or co-creation. I could take it or leave it. I left it.
Thank you for writing this article. Great chance for everyone who reads it (including me!) to ask: Do I do this? How am I engaging and interacting with others?
Yes .. #4 was a shock to me. Then a huge relief that my gut guided me even before he said that! Your story about the “me, my , I” person is a wonderful addition to this discussion. When we know our goal — truly understand what we want — then we can spot was doesn’t fit. The VP was not collaborative.
Thank you for your contribution. Always appreciated.