Saturday, March 26, 2016

"Are You Prepared To Introduce Yourself To Others?"

If we are going to be serious about helping people remodel, renovate, adapt, or otherwise improve the safety and other aspects of their home (access or convenience, for instance), we are also going to need to get serious about reaching out to people to introduce ourselves and what we do.

These can be people that we already know – family, friends, acquaintances, or existing clients – or they can be total strangers. Building and cultivating relationships is vital for business success.

Everyone who has a service, product, or remodeling solution or idea to sell or convey should write, learn, and rehearse a 15-20 second commercial for themselves that they can give when presented the opportunity. Sometimes, you might only get a few seconds of that time.

Typically, when we meet someone and introduce ourselves at a party or the grocery store, gas station, convenience store, coffee shop, diner, or any other non-job situation, we say something like “I do remodeling” or “I’m a contractor” or “I’m an OT” or “I’m an interior designer” and we expect that people will know what we do. We expect that this somehow will resonate with the person we’re meeting.

How many times have we gone to a business meeting or mixer and been given the opportunity to introduce ourselves to the group or one-on-one and only responded with our name and company name or our general job function - like somehow this is sufficient to convey and explain all that we do and for the person we are meeting for the first time in a very brief encounter to understand our basic business model?

Let's forget about what title might be printed on our business card - if any - and actually engage someone when we meet them. We won't have a lot of time, so we need to be prepared to deliver in just a few words why they should remember us and why they may want to talk with us again.

Instead of just reciting our name, rank, and serial number, why not take the opportunity to add a little more information? Consider the statement: “I’m a contractor” versus “I design and remodel homes for people to help them live in a safe and comfortable environment as they grow older.” The first was less than two-seconds, and the second was roughly six seconds.

When we are given just a few seconds to introduce ourselves to someone and make an impression, let's make sure we convey more than just a routine response. This isn't going to happen unless we really believe in what we are doing, and unless we are prepared for this important opportunity.

People will readily sense that we enjoy what we are doing when we include some genuine enthusiasm in our response and a little bit of an explanation about what or why we do what we do, and they may be inclined to learn more about what we offer because of the nature of our introduction.


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Steve HoffackerCAPS, MCSP, MIRM, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555.