Last week, Ray offered to introduce me to a fellow business owner in the same executive park. He had noted that the guy’s car was in the lot and assumed he was at work. So he picked up the phone and called.
“Jeff, this is Ray. I have someone for you to meet. You do a lot of follow-up and she has some ideas that might help. Do you have 5 minutes to talk?”
With just a couple of sentences, the deed was done. Jeff accepted the suggestion and agreed to meet.
Ray could have hung up at that point. Instead, he spent a few minutes asking about Jeff’s family. Although he dove directly to the bottom line, he then resurfaced with a more personal approach and engaged in social chit-chat.
I noticed that Ray entered into the conversation without any preliminaries or pleasantries. He quickly stated the purpose for his call, got down to business, and conducted the transaction. When finished, he took time to nurture the relationship.
How different this conversation would have been had Ray been another social style. The sequence of topics would have been reversed. Ray would have started with an inquiry about Jeff and his family. Once the connection was cemented, they would have moved on to discuss the reason for the call.
According to Ivan Misner, one of the authors of Business Networking and Sex: It’s Not What You Think, men more than women tend to use a transactional approach to business. They move directly into driver mode and then later develop relationships.
In an opposite manner, women cultivate relationships and then ask for the business.
Which approach is better? Neither. Both. It depends on the other person’s style. And it depends on whether you’re seeking short-term or long-term results.
When we match our prospect, they are more likely to relax, feel comfortable, develop trust, let go of resistance, and yield to suggestion.
Know your social style to be aware of your assets and liabilities so you can act with confidence.
Know your prospect’s style to be charismatic so you can make the sale.