Leave A Lasting Impression…Just Be Sure It Isn’t Too Memorable
Wed, 05/01/2013 - 08:47 — Dawn Turner
Getting the undivided attention of a prospective partner is something that all property contacts dream about. Whether it is the new guy trying to make a good impression on the boss or someone trying to climb the corporate ladder, their goal is the same. The question is…what is the best approach? As a brand contact that receives countless solicitations a week (and is very big on relationships), I like to think I have gotten pretty good at discerning between people that are truly skilled/knowledgeable and those who are just trying to get ahead. In my experience I have noticed distinct qualities they have, both good and bad.
The top three qualities I have found in those that leave a positive impression are:
1 – Humility
I always appreciate folks that demonstrate humility. In my opinion they tend to be good listeners of solid character who are genuine and truly care about others. Everyone I know that is well-grounded in this area tends to fare well in whatever endeavors they pursue. I personally wish this quality was more contagious.
2 – Respect
If someone shows respect of my time, background, position, etc., it leaves a positive impression on me. Even if I am not interested in what they are selling today, I will remember them the next time they call with a new opportunity.
3 – Demonstration of Research/Knowledge
Folks that have obvious knowledge of my background, position, company, strategy, etc., always come across as being well-prepared and buttoned up. Whether or not they actually are, I do not always know, but the fact that they took the time to do their due diligence ahead of time speaks wonders to me on a personal level and I will oftentimes take their call both now and in the future.
In contrast, the qualities I see that make me want to turn around and run in the opposite direction (no joke!) are:
1 – Pushiness
To me there is nothing worse than dealing with someone that is too pushy. If I say I am not interested, that means I am not interested. Please do not continue to contact me about the same opportunity, and definitely do not go around my back to co-workers, superiors, etc. This type of behavior is definitely memorable, but the memories it creates are not positive.
2 – Take Extreme Measures
People that go to extreme measures to get my attention do get my attention, but it also comes with a red flag I like to call creepy. I assure you this is not a positive memory, and I would like to offer a couple of examples.
The first is when I worked for a team and I was interviewing potential interns. I remember one guy came in and all he talked about was how much he loved the team, rattled off stats, how many games he attended, whose jersey he wore, etc. Now I do believe it is important to love what you do, but since our interns also interacted with players on the team I had to be very careful to not choose someone that would be considered a super fan (else I would have been the one looking for a new job!). Needless to say, he was removed from consideration.
A second, more recent example happened just last week at the IEG conference. A brand contact at one of my company’s competitors told me this story, and although we did get a good laugh out of it I can tell you with absolute certainty that I am glad it did not happen to me. Evidently, when she got to her room one night, an organization that works with animals left a dog kennel outside her door with a stuffed dog inside. She showed me the picture as proof, so I promise I am not making this up. This was their way of trying to get her attention, and demonstrate their passion for their cause, but I assure you that this falls into the category of being memorable for all the wrong reasons.
3 – Lack of Research/Knowledge
Folks trying to make a sale sometimes will do just that, try to make a sale. They put zero thought into researching the company or contact person and just go through the motions of creating a presentation and trying to get it in front of any decision maker they can find. Some of those in this category are memorable because they are also pushy, but others just are not memorable at all. I do not consider either of these to be positive.
I know I have talked about the importance of relationships in past columns, and I cannot emphasize enough how big of a role they will play in your life both now and in the future.
If you are a property contact that is looking for direction, I do hope you will focus on the positive attributes above. If you are a sponsor contact I hope you agree with my points above (and maybe got a good chuckle…).
The one reminder I want to leave sponsor contacts with is the importance of remembering that all of us work in sales. We may not be under pressure to make numbers or specific sales, but we do have a constant need to sell internally. Whether it is to our superiors or cross-departmental contacts, the art of the sale plays a very important role in our everyday lives and means we should constantly refine our approach and selling skills. It also should give us even more appreciation for external parties that leave us with positive impressions.
I would like to leave you with one parting thought as you ponder how this relates to you and your team of professionals. Something I have found myself doing lately is thanking people who leave positive impressions during sales calls, emails and meetings. To me finding them is like locating a needle in a haystack, and my thought is that if they receive compliments from brand contacts it helps boost their confidence and hopefully leads to them passing along positive attributes to their teams now and in the future.
I am a firm believer in what comes around, goes around, so please help get this movement started!
Check out past Sponsorship articles on The Migala Report.