Hans Hansson | August 14, 2014
Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to have met with several of our U.S. Presidents, as well as other national leaders. I have also had the privilege of meeting a number of Hall of Famer athletes. Yet, of all of the successful people I have been fortunate to meet, one stands up over them all – a Medal of Honor war veteran who was the guest speaker at my son's high school's father-son dinner.
This man by name was not well known. He was a small-framed man with very white, aged hair. He did not come into the room like a normal main speaker. He entered the room early and walked around, chatting with each table. I spotted him and figured right away he was the guest speaker. You simply knew it. He was capativing in a way that I had not seen before. When he spoke, you were instantly became memorized by his words. He was a true leader with amazing presence.
The definition of presence according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is:
"A person's bearing, personality, or appearance
Impressive bearing, personality, etc. characterized by poise, confidence, etc., often specific that of a performer before an audience."
As salespeople, first impressions are key to our success. Every sales education book will tell you that you have 30 seconds or less to make a positive impression on someone. They also say it takes a stranger four minutes to fully feel they know who you are, and for them to decide if they like you or not.
As a salesperson, you need to develop a full package presentation of yourself to create the ultimate presence. You want your clients and future clients to know when you have arrived. Your arrival does not have to be overstated in any way. It can be subtler, but you have to develop that style and be consistent with it.
Florin Moore was the founder of McGuire Real Estate in San Francisco. Florin dealt in high-end residential real estate. She dressed the part and was known for the classic car she used to drive around in throughout the city. When she entered a room or a meeting, you knew who she was. She had elegancy and sophistication, yet the ability to be warm and friendly with everyone. Florin has been gone for many years, but still remembered by many. Her presence exists beyond her life.
To be top salespeople, we need that kind of presence– something that sets us apart. You can begin with overall appearance and smile. These two things carry to your level of confidence as you proceed to meet with people.
Presence is often natural, but can be created with a plan and practice. Today, more than ever, in this competitive world it's those that seek to stand out from their competition that will be rewarded with the most success.
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