“How’s business?” one person asked another at a networking event.
“This economy is killing me. We’ve got people canceling right and left and trying to get people to buy anything isn’t happening — things better turn around fast.”
I hear statements like this all too frequently. Although we might agree with the sentiments, talking this way can worsen the situation. The person who asked, “How’s business?” could have been a prospect. Not too cool!
So what’s wrong with telling the truth? A lot! No one (I repeat no one) wants to hear doom and gloom — especially not someone who might want to do business with you.
Could there be anyone worse to share the misery with than a potential prospect? By even thinking negative thoughts, forget saying them, you put yourself in a mental state of failure. You subconsciously tell yourself the odds are against you, and you are doomed to fail. Both positive and negative energy are contagious. Your actions reflect your thoughts and people will detect your outlook. Ask yourself whether you’d rather deal with someone who acts desperate to stay afloat or someone who is convinced of the benefits of his product or service? From someone who complains about the economy or from someone who makes any economy work for him and his clients?
People want to do business with winners. The average person, including businesspeople, takes great security in doing business with successful businesses. If you’ve ever purchased something from a person or company that has gone out of business, you know what a pain that can be. Minimally it’s going to cost you extra time calling or physically running around to find another service agent. Worse is when you find out that the product can’t be supported at all. There are two simple yet powerful ways that you communicate that you’re a winner or not, that you’re thriving or struggling in this economy: verbally –your choice of words and nonverbally – your choice of dress.
So, better ways to answer “How’s business?”:
“Our new marketing campaign is really taking off” or “Our new marketing campaign is bringing us lots of new customers.” (You don’t have to mention that your “new marketing campaign” is you making dozens of cold calls each day.)
“We’re growing market share?”
“Even with rising costs, we’ve been able to maintain our current pricing.”
Hopefully you can also say, “We’ve seen a lot of enthusiasm about our new products.” If you can’t, solicit positive responses from your customers. Once you have obtained some glowing kudos, share them on a regular and consistent basis with customers and prospects.
Why go through this bother? Because people are innately followers. Prospects are drawn to successful businesses and typically follow the positive experiences of others. Successful businesspeople take responsibility for finding positive messages and passing them along.
These positive messages will also cheer you up and help you create your own economic boom.