Air travel offers you a great quick-pitch opportunity. When you’re seated next to a stranger, take the initiative to make a connection. Larry Quinn, HPU’s Sales Education Director, has developed a set of principles to help you take advantage of these chance encounters — guidelines for selling yourself at a moment’s notice. On a plane, in a line, at a table, or in a car — never miss an opportunity to network.
Believe in Yourself
Before you can promote yourself to a stranger, you must first have self-confidence. Wake up, fill your heart with joy and don’t fear failure. Once you have the courage to speak up, half the battle is over.
Before meeting a client for the first time, look in the mirror and say, “This client is going to like me.” Like a track runner before a big meet, you have to pump yourself up. Before you introduce yourself, take a moment to give yourself that pep talk.
In order to have a life of significance you have to be socially generous. You’re sitting next to a stranger on the plane and they ask where you’re headed. You could say “home” and then open your iPad. That’s not enough. You’re building your brand right now and that requires thoughtful engagement with others.
Be the Doctor
When you go to the doctor with a pain, a good one will ask you tons of questions before diagnosing you. You trust the doctor because they listened to you. You must be the good doctor. Ask questions, earn trust and in turn, people will want to know you.
Study the Person
You have to quickly figure out what’s going on in their mind. If they’re quiet, with their head in a book, introduce yourself and have a quick chat, but give them their space. If they are a fast talker, keep up with the pace. Mirror their energy and they will remember that it was a great meeting.
Keep Eye Contact
When you ask someone a question, it’s crucial that you maintain eye contact. If you ask a question but then look down at your screen, it’s a signal that you’re uninterested.
Above all, you must bring joy to the encounter. No matter if the person you meet is an introvert who won’t look up from their phone, or an extrovert who can talk to you for hours, people won’t remember everything you said, but they will remember how you made them feel.