Friday, 24 July 2015

A wry smile, a Rye smile, a #selling smile

*Smaidošā seja ir puse maltīte 

When you're smilin' keep on smilin'The whole world smiles with youAnd when you're laughin' oh when you’re laughin'The sun comes shinin' through 
-Louis Armstrong

* There is a Latvian proverb which in translation goes “A smiling face is half the meal”. 

Part of the Mermaid Hotel , Rye, Sussex  rebuilt in 1420 !
 I have just returned from a short leisure break spent in the historic Cinque port town of Rye in Sussex. 

I stayed at the historic Mermaid Hotel. 

At the evening dinner, the food was perfect, the wine was perfect, the lighting was perfect, the table, chairs and décor were perfect.( many thanks to Patrick, Steven, Sam, and all the team at the Mermaid who made the experience so memorable)

Right from the start of the experience it was the a warm, generous, kind, accepting, and attentive attitude of the waiting staff that set the tone for a fabulous evening. 

(Even when on holiday I can seldom switch off from appreciating the fruits of success – selling skills !!!

A smiling face is 50% of the meal,
the food is 25%, 
the beverages are 15%,
the décor is 5%, 
and the rest is 5%
Whatever you sell or offer in customer service there is much we all can learn from a great professional restaurant experience.

This post is about our smile

Do you make the most of your smiling opportunities?  Have a go at this Smiling audit.

•             Do you smile while you're say your company’s name ? Y/N
•             Do you smile while you're talking about what your company does? Y/N
•             Do you smile while you say your product’s name ? Y/N
•             Do you smile even when you're on a phone call and your client can't see you? Y/N
•             Do you smile during video-conference calls? Y/N
  • Are you smiling in your professional head shot or LinkedIn/Facebook profile photos on social networks?

Do you know how many times you've smiled so far today?

For a smile to be effective, sincerity counts.

If our smile is clearly forced or false, it will do more damage than good.

Although fake smiles look similar to real smiles, research  has shown that the difference between the two can actually be identified via specific facial muscles.

 A spontaneous smile (also called the "Duchenne smile," named after French neurologist Guillaume Duchenne) is generated in the unconscious brain by emotion and is accompanied by movement in the small muscles around the eyes

 A forced smile, by contrast, comes from the conscious brain and lacks association with any emotion.

Aleksandr learning to smile in adversity
 in the stocks at Rye, near the Ypres Tower Inn

A wry smile in Rye 
Learn to develop a naturally upbeat personality and smile frequently throughout the day and during interactions with your customers and prospects.

This simple feat also happens to be one of our most effective ways to cut through adverse situations, conflicts, and disappointment.

 Similarly develop a smile practice for those nervous situations such as presenting to groups
 If you've just been told no or a deal has fallen through, a smile is your first defence against negativity.

As motivation specialist Ryan C Lowe points out in his book  "Get off your Attitude", a smile draws people in because it "projects positivity."

"A smile is a positive response to life, smiling triggers to your subconscious that you are in control of your emotions. You are choosing to be positive."

He suggests we learn to smile at adversity. 

"We're all dealing with difficult situations, even if you're talking with people who don't have 

time or money or don't want to listen to you, smile anyway. Don't allow those negative emotions to take control of you and your life."

Training yourself to smile more. Training Tip.

One way I practise smiling is when I am in a long queue at the supermarket.

 There is little one can do about joining the line so when you see that queue make yourself smile in your eyes and face. 

  • Open up a conversation and smile
  • The time will go quicker and you will feel a whole lot better.
  • You will also notice how you will cheer up others in the queue.

There is  also good science behind all this smiling business.

Recent research ( May 2015)  led by Stefania Righi, Ph.D. at the University of Florence in Italy  suggests that we should smile whenever you first meet someone for example at a networking event. 

Prospects are more likely to remember you if you met them smiling and in a comfortable context.

In the study, the researchers presented participants with a series of faces that were either smiling or fearful, alongside images of happy scenes like a party or fear-inducing scenes like a car crash. (The study did not test the effects of neutral faces or scenes.)

Then participants were shown those faces again and asked to remember whether they’d seen them before. Results showed that previously seen happy faces were remembered better than fearful faces — but only when they were initially presented alongside a happy scene.

The researchers propose two potential theories for why happy faces in happy contexts were remembered best.

 1.  The combination of two happy images could enhance people’s ability to pay attention, as previous research has suggested.

 2.  Smiling faces might encourage people to bind together the image and its context more than fearful faces do.

Why so ?

The researchers suggest that it’s possible people evolved this way because smiling people indicate “potential friend[s]” and remembering them could be useful in future encounters.

While networking can be exhausting, it’s worth it to engage a smile right before you go up and meet someone .

 Another good tip: Share something in common

 According to marketing strategist and Duke University professor Dorie Clark, you should talk about something you have in common with that person so they’re more likely to trust and relate to you.

Highlights from the  Righi,research:

•  Fearful and happy expressions differently affect memory for identity and contexts.
•  Happy expressions and happy-scenarios enhance face identity memory.
•  Socially positive signals conveyed by smiling faces prompt memory binding.

Their findings highlight that socially positive signals conveyed by smiling faces may prompt memory for identity and context. 

This is useful for Salespeople to know.

So as in another song back in the day....

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you Nat King Cole

Related Links and further reading

Ryan C. Lowe, author of Get off Your Attitude: Change Your Attitude, Change Your Life

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