Mackay: Street-smart ideas No. 3

A couple of years ago, I wrote two columns on street smarts that resonated with readers. They asked for more! Here’s Part 3 of Harvey’s Street Smarts:

First idea: Make gifts memorable. Use creative gifts to stand out. I also appreciate gifts that continue to remind me of that person. For example, a clock that chimes.

Next idea: Humanize your selling strategy. Learn what people’s hobbies are and find ways to leverage them through tickets, clippings or just current conversation.

Next idea: You’re not just selling a product. In every sales transaction, position yourself as your customer’s confidant and adviser. More than product, you are selling trust first and foremost.

Next idea: At every meeting with managers, go around the room and ask managers what can go wrong and prioritize it. If it happens, how are we going to solve it?

Next idea: Hold one-on-one meetings with your employees to learn all about them — what is important to them at work and at home. Employees are people first!

Next idea: You want to make every customer feel like he or she is the only customer you have.

Next idea: Timing is everything. Never ask your parents for the keys to the car when they are in a bad mood.

Next idea: You can’t successfully negotiate anything until you know the market. You won’t recognize a good deal unless you’ve done your homework.

Next idea: You always want to sleep on it. Take your time in most decisions and things become much clearer.

Next idea: Never say no for the other person. Ask and let them say no.

Next idea: Short notes yield big results. It takes only a moment. As a matter of personal recognition and courtesy, remember names and take a personal interest in people.

Next idea: When you boil it all down, the world of business really rotates on the following principle: Every person needs someone else to help them open doors. And that can only be accomplished by a phone call, e-mail, letter or in person, giving that individual instant credibility to make the contact.

Next idea: Outside my office door is a sign, “If you know where you can get us some business, come on in.” On the table is a sign, “Our meeting will not be interrupted unless a customer calls.”

Next idea: Every person basically knows about 200 people, so if you have 10 friends, you have 2,000 contacts. If you are lucky enough to have well-connected contacts, you could start out with many thousands more. Remember that you are seeking quality, not quantity.

Next idea: Friends of comedian Red Buttons thought he had a phenomenal memory with holiday cards. He filled them out year-round when he met people and mailed them at Christmastime.

Next idea: Never tell a mother her baby is ugly. When someone is close to a project, be very careful what you say.

Next idea: Every day of your life, you have to get up and do a couple of things that you don’t want to do. So you might as well get on them right away in the morning.

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