by Matthew Cassady Not only with the average Joe, but more so with high profile celebrities and politicians. A trend geared toward anyone with a mobile phone, nearby mirror, and access to a digital device
The'Selfie' has become an internet phenomenon for social media users contending for the spotlight.
What many social media users tend to forget, selfies speak volumes about a person. Within seconds of viewing your most recent uploaded selfie, viewers begin making judgments, which creates an impression about the type of person you are, regardless how inaccurate their assumptions are.
The innocent image you intended to portray could be perceived by others as arrogant and self-seeking. Just because someone LIKES your photo does not always mean they actually LIKED your photo. They may have just clicked the button to inform you they saw it.
The reality is, your selfie makes an impression about you. Why do you think some businesses check applicant’s social media pages before making their final hiring decision? Your nonverbal language says a lot more about you than the words which spew out of your mouth.
YOU'RE THE SELFIE OF YOUR BUSINESS
An an entrepreneur, you're the face of your business. You represent everything!
You're the CEO, the marketing manager, the human resource director, as well as the accounting department. When meeting new prospects or visiting existing clients, basic verbal and nonverbal communication skills cannot be neglected.
Even with prestigious titles like Owner, CEO, or Founder; as an entrepreneur you have to step up your customer service game as your clients / customers are your livelihood. All it takes is one wrong impression about you to turn potential prospects away.
What you say and how you say it will either create a sense of calmness or an atmosphere of hostility.
Surprisingly, what and how you say something doesn’t compare to your natural nonverbal actions
7% of communication is based on WHAT you say, 38% is based on HOW you say it, and 55% is based on nonverbal communication.
Studies show it takes approximately seven seconds to make a first impression. Within seven seconds a person will subconsciously make the following judgments about someone they just met:
- are likable?
- are they approachable?
- are they knowledgeable?
- are they friendly?
- are they credible?
- are they confident?
- are they trustworthy?
Nonverbal cues alone can be a deal breaker. Therefore, in order to improve your image and chances of success as an entrepreneur, it's important to keep these five points in mind.
1. Be aware of your face
Some people have a natural soft angelic appearance, perceived by others to be warm, inviting, and approachable.
Then there are others which put off the vibe they are about to go off on a destructive blind-rage. If you’re trying to build a company, part of your success will entail how well you communicate and network. If potential prospects notice an expressionless facial appearance, they may go out of their way to avoid you, resulting in loss profit and growth opportunities.
This may require practicing in front of a mirror. The purpose of practicing is to not only establish a more pleasant expression, but also to ensure it does not look forced or unnatural.
Acting fake diminishes credibility and insults prospects.
2. Display your pearly whites
Every standard customer service seminar, or book you read, places great emphasis on the importance of smiling.
The idea behind a smile is to appear approachable. People who are expressionless leave those around them wondering if they were mad, bored, or confused.
Remember, the more comfortable you make someone feel, the chances of landing their business or making a sale will greatly improve.
Plus, smiling changes your tone, which is the reason why many call centers encourage, or require, their representatives to smile when talking with customers over the phone. People hear a different, more uplifting tone which puts them at ease and slowly builds confidence and trust in the representative.
If you want to make a great first impression, make sure you’re smiling and making the prospect feel and believe you’re excited to be with them verses making them wonder if they're an inconvenience.
3. Look at me and sit up straight
Shifting eyes can be perceived as you’re either trying to hide something or you’re finding the conversation to be very dull and a waste of your time.
Accompany that with slouching in your seat or leaning side to side when standing, you will for sure be successful in making the prospect feel as if they are a huge waste of your time or confince them you lack confidence to handle their specific needs.
Making eye contact with people when you’re talking or listening shows you’re interested and highly engaged in the conversation. Plus, leaning toward them occasionally shows you’re really interested in what they have to say.
This is your chance to make the prospect feel comfortable and important.
4. Dress the part
If you’ve ever worked for another employer most likely you had an interview.
In order to make a good impression there was probably a specific outfit you wore. When meeting with prospects the same approach applies. In order to be perceived as a subject matter expert you have to dress the part. If people look at your attire as unprofessional, they will not take you seriously.
5. Don't shake it off
A firm handshake portrays confidence.
It sends the message you have been in this line of work for quite some time and ready to put your knowledge and skills to work. Depending on the prospect, a weak handshake could be interpreted as a sign of weakness, diminishing your credibility and reputation.
IT'S ABOUT CONNECTING WITHOUT SAYING A WORD
Keeping the following five points in mind are keys to establishing and maintaining a positive business selfie.
Image and actions are key components prospects examine before giving someone their business or making a purchase with them. Being self-aware is the first step, with the next step making the necessary adjustments to better draw in prospects.
Remember, maintaining a professional image means knowing how to connect with people without saying a word.
As the old saying goes, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’.
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