Jan 21 2009


Got a flounder fillet handshake?


     How about the opposite?  I met someone the other day whose handshake practically brought me to my knees.  After we talked awhile, and I asked about it, she said her father always taught her to act tough when she was nervous, and bone-crusher handshakes seemed to satisfy her agitation. 

     Don’t you love being greeted by a salesperson who’s looking over your shoulder?  Or at your feet, the top of your head, your belly button?  Your spouse? 

     And of course there are also the ones we always jump at the chance to buy from, the ones whose faces look like they just stepped in dog poop on their way in the door, or who must surely have run over their grandmas with a reindeer, or who are still pretzeled-up with glaring angry eyes and wrinkled brows a full hour after being cut off by an oozing dump truck on their commute to work.

     And then to put the famous Horse and Dog trainers to shame, there’s the “People Whisperer.”  Or on the flip side, the backslapping loudmouth.  


  • When you own or manage a business, every single thing you do every day is a form of selling yourself or your ideas.
  • A sale is made or broken in the first ten seconds.
  • The first ten seconds of every encounter is consumed by first impressions (which don’t get a second chance) and those first impressions have largely to do with handshakes, eye contact, smiles, and a moderate and engaging tone (and volume level) of voice.       It’s the attitude you project that makes or breaks. 

     Yes, of course, clothes and grooming, but I have to assume you know how to bathe and dress yourself, clean your nails and stuff like that.  But you know what?  I once saw a total slob sell a $35 million company in twenty minutes with nothing but charm and some decent financial statements. 

     You wouldn’t have taken the chain off your front door if he appeared on your stoop in the dirty, bedraggled outfit he had on.  Yet he absolutely glowed as he delivered his sales spiel.  He had the magic.  He made things happen. 

     The man had a smile and tone of voice that made you want to hang on and listen and trust him.  His eyes screamed with enthusiasm but engaged others with a sense of acceptance and camaraderie while his voice left listeners hearing only rationality and justification for the purchase decision.  It was reassuring. 

     You would never dream to have looked at your watch.  His day-old whiskers, scuffed shoes and wrinkled wrong-size suit were never noticed by the decision makers.  He listened.  He exuded confidence and pride and energy and the attitude that he had what was needed at a reasonable price.  He did in fact.  The same business is worth billions today!  So is the man who sold it.

     STOP TODAY FOR JUST A MINUTE.  Hitch up your belt and boots.  Look in the mirror and give yourself your best smile.  Shake your own hand firmly (turn your left hand pinkie up and thumb down to create the right effect!).  Tell yourself:

“I am the best there is at what I do and people need what I have to sell and they are willing to pay what I ‘m asking because I have the magic!” 


     (Right!  Now do it again like you mean it!  Without genuineness, attitude takes you nowhere!)  You might rather want to conduct this little rah-rah session for yourself in your own bathroom instead of the hotel lobby.  But do it.  And remember to pass on all the good feelings it raises because it does, and because you can, and because you never know who your next customer might be!    halalpiar

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