Are you usual or unusual? If one of your closest friends was asked how they view you in a crowded room, would they say that you blend right in or stand out? In a profession in which everyone around you is a potential client, you have got to be the one that stands out. Are you the discussion starter or the attentive listener? Are you one to speak out if you have a comment even if you do not have the same viewpoint as the group or the group leader?
In a social or professional setting, we have to play a somewhat different role than when we are speaking directly with a client in a more private and personal setting. When we are dealing with clients, we tend to be more of the attentive listener, because we need their information to assess what will best suit their needs. Therefore the 2 ears and 1 mouth rule apply.
In a social setting, we still need to listen but the split between listening and speaking needs to be closer to 50/50. Remember that when you are meeting socially, you are marketing yourself in everything you say and do. You cannot flip the switch on this and you should not want to. Everyone in your presence is a potential client. Now, I will urge you to use caution in not only the things you say, but also your actions.
Have you ever attended a Happy Hour sponsored by an affiliate? Do you ever notice that one person who always gets too happy and makes a fool out of themselves and your group? Very bad marketing! If you are in public, others not associated with your group will pick up on this one person and can leave a negative impact that your group is anything but professional.
Have you ever had a discussion with your manager about something that you feel is incorrect conceptually or even in writing on a form or contract? When you were done discussing, did you walk away agreeing with the manager, but still not feeling that issue was correct? There are times when both sides are correct. Let's face it, even attorney's will tell you, if you ask 10 different attorney's what is right, you will likely get 10 different answers. Documents and even statements can have different meanings because they are things that are read or heard by someone other than the person that the author. This means interpretations can very from person to person. The fact that opinions differ does not mean you are wrong. In one case with my manager, we both agreed to disagree on the subject in questions, but each of us understood that our interpretations differed and either of us could be correct.
Now, how does all that relay to marketing and being usual or unusual? In the case of my discussion with my manager, we both gained respect for each other because neither of us walked away conceding one way or the other, but openly assessed the situation, discussed each others views and understood those perspectives. We both appreciated the fact that we could not agree on what was correct. In some cases, you will find out you were incorrect in an assessment that you conveyed to another person. Have you gone back and apologized and restated the fact based on your new information? I guarantee you, that if you do this, the other party will have more respect for you. In these instances, you become the unusual.
Most people will concede in discussions to the person that is senior to them or deemed to be an authority, just because of their status or position. That is the usual person. Now, I am not telling you go out and argue with people, but if there are instances when you have a different point of view, share that with people. You do not have to be argumentative, just discuss the issue at hand. Sometimes, you will concede, because through others experiences and knowledge your view will change, and that's okay too.
In public situations, people like to see the leader in you come out, so take an active role. This website, for instance is a great way to learn, share, discuss, hear different views and store information to make you a better leader in your business. Use the tools you have to help others and again the rewards come back to you. Being unusual is definitely a good thing because people are attracted to the unusual.
It made Guinness famous, let it make you famous too.