I’m a big believer in mining your files for ideas and opportunities that already exist and are in your back pocket. As I was clearing out my file cabinet last week, I came across an old EWN Newsletter featuring 20 Ways to Promote Yourself in Business by one of my all-time favorite business leaders and speakers, Terrie Williams.
I’d heard Terrie speak at an AWED (American Women’s Economic Development) Conference years ago, then again at my local networking organization not long after that. Her messages have resonated with me ever since hearing her stories at those events. The article summarizes that wisdom.
I emailed Terrie today to ask permission to share her ideas with my readers. I was hoping to hear back from her by week’s end. I got a response within 10 minutes with an emphatic “but of course!”
Thank you, Terrie, for your generosity then and now. Here’re the first 10 tips on her list of the “little things” that set us apart from the competition (slightly edited):
- Know that your reputation is valuable – and that it often reaches people before you do. Be sincere, be honest, be prepared, be professional, be thoughtful, be efficient–and delivers.
- Do what you say you’re going to do. If you can’t deliver on time (and reasons for this should only have to do with circumstances beyond your control) pick up the phone ASAP and say so. Make sure you meet the next deadline you set.
- Return all phone calls. You never know why a person may be calling.
- Treat everyone with respect and courtesy. A person’s position in life should have absolutely noting to do with how you interact with them. What goes around comes around.
- Be visible. Go to professional seminars, luncheons, receptions, dinners, any kind of gathering of folks. You have to be out there for people to notice you.
- When you meet people, be mindful. Look them in the eye, smile, be personable, have a firm handshake and actually be with the individual in that moment.
- Try to develop a knack for remembering names. People will be flattered if you can call them by name after only a brief introduction. Your recall is best when you want to remember.
- Be an active listener while you’re engaged in conversation. Politely excuse yourself if you feel yourself becoming bored or distracted.
- Create a “small talk” notebook for when you go out–anecdotes and/or questions you jot down about life or current events that are guaranteed to stimulate conversation. Be creative, even outrageous but always professional with your ideas. Ask people something about themselves. People do like to talk about their own lives and jobs.
- Be sensitive to the body language of those you come in contact with. And beware of how you come across to other people.
More coming later this week…