In today's face-paced world of digital media, no matter if we work for an agency or innovative platform, cutting through the clutter and just getting noticed is hard enough. Making the sale, completing a successful pitch, or even getting your foot in the door is becoming evermore difficult. To win friends and influence people today, we need to be the exception to the norm, build better relationships, stand out further, and charm our way to working with and keeping the ultimate client.
"Something of the sense of holiness on islands comes, I think, from this strange, elastic geography. Islands are made larger, paradoxically, by the scale of the sea that surrounds them. The element which might reduce them, which might be thought to besiege them, has the opposite effect. The sea elevates these few acres into something they would never be if hidden in the mass of the mainland. The sea makes islands significant."
- Adam Nicolson, "Sea Room"
The brain is designed to notice the variation, the divergence, the inconsistency, the disturbance, that one thing, no matter how small, that doesn't belong. It's a primal reaction that has been engrained into the human psyche over thousands of years. You need to become that exception -- charm and enchant your prospects and build better relationships with your clients.
Basics for being charming
Get your life in order
Unless you have some award-winning acting skills under your belt, you need to get your own backyard in order before you can be a charming individual. It's hard to be a charismatic if you have problems weighing you down at home, be it relationships, finances, work, family issues, grudges with others, health problems etc. To be able to enchant others, you need to feel like you're on top of the world yourself. First things first, start getting your own life together, forgive and forget, start working out, set some new goals, make a career change if need be, and find a hobby or project outside of your job you are passionate about and dive in! Taking care of you and feeling great are half the battle -- the other half is focusing on the other person.
Exercise the body and the face
Exercising your body is the perfect way to get your energy levels up and make you a positive person due to the endorphins dancing around in your body. We have all been there, working late hours, and burning out finalizing a campaign or an RFP response. Start getting more exercise and you will feel like a million dollars, your confidence will increase, and you will be able to project that charming glow to your clients and colleagues. Exercising your face means smiling with the 50 muscles it takes to produce a genuine "Duchenne Smile" -- one that pushes up into your eyes and makes you squint a little bit. When you smile at people with a genuine smile, there is no other emotion that they can derive from you than happy -- and we all want to work with positive happy people right?
Dress to impress
Men and women both have the right outfit, suit, or attire that makes us feel great, when we put it on. When we feel better about ourselves, and are more self confident, we can make others feel better about themselves. This is what being charismatic is all about. In his book "Enchantment," Guy Kawasaki puts it best when he says you want to, "Dress for a tie... Overdressing says, I'm richer, more powerful, and more important than you. Under-dressing says, I don't respect you and I'll dress any way that I please. Equal dressing says: We're peers." Know your audience and do your best to match the proper attire for the situation. This may be the exception to the rule for being an island and standing out.
Don't let them shake your hand, shake their hand
It all starts with a handshake, good eye contact, and that famous smile. Good handshakes are composed of a firm grip and a good pump. They are not to overzealous, only lasting two to three seconds, and are sincere, but standing back at a moderate distance. When shaking hands, or in general conversation, be sure to look the other person in the eye at all times, even if they look away. Since you are meeting them to sincerely want to talk to them, you must stay focused and attentive. This is also a perfect time to remember peoples names -- repeat their name back to them -- "Nice to meet you, Bill" -- when you meet them and when you finish your conversation. This will make people feel like you like them and open things up for getting to know them better.