Is there any danger in being too professional? At the end of the day, people buy from people most of the time in business relationships. The key here is being human, which would point towards the fact that if you are ‘strictly business’, how are people supposed to ‘get to know you better’ as it’s maybe not the real you?
From a company perspective, you could understand the appeal and reasoning behind professionalism, focus on what you can teach new recruits, product spec’s, features and benefits and so on. And of course all of this has its place in the sales cycle.
If we assume that your company would also like to show good value for money, or perhaps highlight value-add as a key differentiator, what this looks like in the eyes of a buyer will inevitably vary. One factor becoming more and more important due to social media and the art of conversation in relationship building, is showing the human side of a company.
If you are in the business of dealing with people, then there is a time and place for being efficient, professional and serious, but there is also a time when it would be of great benefit to be slightly less so. Imagine yourself being at a networking event where it is all about getting to know people. The conversation would get awfully boring and dull if everyone just talked about their company, how great they are and what wonderful products and services the company has.
Taking the time to get to know a client company is just as much about getting to know the individual that you are in contact with, understand what they like, do for fun, challenges, family etc. None of that would unlikely be covered in the company training manual…
Humour is something that has been used in print advertising and TV ads for a long while and it can be very effective in people establishing a personal connection with a brand. Emotions are also often used to evoke a response. So why not use it to your advantage in other business situations?
Next time you are in a marketing meeting planning your next campaign, try thinking of something fun and interactive rather than more corporate and professional. If you do it right, it can still be related to your business and be fun at the same time.
Stuck for ideas? How about a Quiz asking thought provoking questions business questions and at the same time has a lead generation angle to it? Or why not go all out with a fun Christmas Game that has a competition element to it… it’s a great conversation starter about something else than business…