I am speaking at the Bridges to Better Business event for the Small Business Week in Lindsay, ON. The topic? Return on Investment. Yippee! Right up my alley!

I will be speaking about the importance of connecting with someone, in order to keep you top of mind, so when they pick up the phone or click that mouse, your name will be the one they are headed toward. I can’t tell you how many people miss this one logical step in the networking process. They remember their cards, they remember to dress professionally, they have an elevator pitch and a smile and a firm hand shake and then they….well, they just sell you to death that you try to find an excuse…any excuse…to get away from them.

Now, if you’re reading this and you think, “Nah, she can’t be talking about me!” let me ask you this. In your last few conversations with people you just met, did you talk about your business? If you said yes, then you’re probably one of those people. Your business shouldn’t be the first thing you talk about, it should be the last. Your “business” is the person in front of you. People want to talk about one thing: themselves. As a business professional, you have to restrain yourself and turn that into your advantage. Asking questions of someone, finding out about them, and better yet, their passion will transform them into a different person: their eyes glow, their smile beams, they talk more rapidly and with passion. When you speak again, asking more about their passion they will consider you a friend. Remember the saying: People won’t remember what you did, but how you made them feel. The best salesperson is the person who makes people feel valued and heard (like the salesman’s mantra “Find their pain/pleasure”)… and that your meeting was more than a sales pitch; it was a gathering of friends.

I have left conversations without mentioning what I do, until the very end, when we must part, and they ask if we could chat again and I hand over my card and they exclaim, “Oh how cool!” And then they start asking me a ton of questions and they are sure to check out my website. People contact me all the time because their friends told them, “You have to meet Stephanie. She’s so (funny, awesome, crazy, hilarious, etc.)”. I’ve never heard anyone say “My friend told me that you are local and have programs that are reasonably priced and have skills that will help aid my business goals.”

See if you can make people “feel” more, rather than “buy” more, and believe me, that will be the biggest return on investment.

About the Author

Stephanie Herrera is a comedian, writer, producer, teacher, singer, actor, mother of 4, and shallow philosopher. She runs the Durham Improv & Acting Studio in Oshawa, Canada, is a professor at Durham and Fleming Colleges, and is an award winning performer.  www.durhamimprov.com / www.stephanieherrera.com / info@durhamimprov.com / (647) 899-3342  Durham Improv Group and Business pages can be found on Facebook and follow @durhamimprov & @antimommy