For those of you who have met me, especially those who have attended any of my courses or presentations; you will know that one of my mantras (I have a few!) is “People Buy People.” I'm not talking about the slave trade here; I am referring to people wanting to do business with you or offer you a job because they actually like you, trust you and see you as a human being.
You can be the most prolific business owner or a highly skilled candidate, but if the person you are trying to impress doesn't engage with you, then a long-term professional relationship is unlikely.
People Buy People – Not bits of paper or electronic mail
Whether you are applying for jobs or pitching for new business, always, always aim to get in front of the person; meet them face-to-face or at the very least, have a telephone conversation. It is so much easier to like someone if you can hear their enthusiasm, passion and sincerity, which is of course much harder to establish with only the written word.
In recent years, job seekers have hidden behind the smoke-screen of online applications firing out CV after CV hoping that one will eventually stick and land them a dream job. Of course, CVs are important for much of the application process – I know; I write them! – However, they can be more effective if used in conjunction with actually speaking with the key people who are ultimately the decision makers and hold your career prospects in their hand.
One of the biggest bug-bears I encounter on a daily basis is spam emails. I sense you nodding your head – you too? I just delete them and as yet, I don't think I have missed out on anything important. I just don't see the point in mass-emailing other businesses or individuals to pitch for sales. I won't buy in this way. I would be much more likely to buy from someone (or at least recommend their product or service) if they met me and spoke with me – with the exception of people who cold call my house and try to sell on my doorstep!
Building relationships will be a more effective route to achieving what you want. Gone are the days when we expected and accepted the hard sell. 70% of job vacancies are not advertised – many of the positions are filled by people who know someone; someone they have spoken with; someone they like. Business networking meetings are booming in almost every UK town – people are meeting face-to-face, building relationships and crucially trust. People buy people.
So what is the next step to success? Simply step away from your computer from time to time and say hello to the big, wide world out there. We all survived, got jobs and built businesses before the invention of the world wide web. Use email, social media, websites et al to back up or compliment the relationships you are hoping to build and develop.
Go on…I dare you…let me know how you get on.
Author Jules Halliday