‘Tell me something interesting about yourself’. Uh. Um. Nothing? You cannot count on one hand how many times you have been asked this question. It is one of the most popular ice breaker and interview questions out there. So popular you would think people have an immediate answer. That’s never the case. In fact, people struggle to find an answer to this common question.
Interesting people are the ones who are remembered, the ones who make stellar first impressions (sometimes good, sometimes bad), the ones who get the job offers and the ones who can build rapport with just about anyone. Interesting people are the black sheep of society. Shucks. Are you that boring person that never gets the amazing job offer? Take some advice from Jessica Hagy and join the interesting crowd:
- Get out and explore everything
- Convey to others what you discover
- Accomplish something. Be active
- Embrace that you are weird and unique
- Start caring and others will care about you
- Lay off the swagger. Expertise > Ego
- Try anything. They say the magic happens outside of your comfort zone
- March to your own beat
- Be brave. Grow a pair
- Quit being boring and worrying about consequences
This list is a great starting point but the most important thing to remember is to be yourself. When you are yourself, you are bound to find someone with a common interest. When building rapport, consider what you enjoy doing in your free time on the weekends or your favorite past time with friends. Though some outrageous memories may come to mind, you are still showing the other individual who you are and what makes you so interesting. Just remember not to tell someone you just met about all your past endeavors. Make sure you save something for the next conversation.
A number of individuals feel they are not interesting nor have unique qualities that differentiate them. That is bogus. Everyone has something unique about them. It is just a matter of discovering what it is that differentiates you from others.
For more on building rapport and the power of relationships, be sure to check out the ultimate super connector himself, Keith Ferrazzi, and learn from his crack team of relationship experts at myGreenlight.
Think you are an interesting individual? Prove it. Share something interesting about yourself in the comments section below.
In Keith Ferrazzi’s best-selling book ‘Never Eat Alone,’ Ferrazzi outlines how from an early age he recognized the importance of relationships and the power an individual’s network can have in helping them achieve their goals. What took him some time to figure out is the best way to establish those relationships. Eventually Ferrazzi discovered generosity is the key to beginning what may prove to be a beneficial relationship. The key word here is that the relationships ‘may’ become beneficial. No score cards are allowed in the Ferrazzi school of relationship building. We all should be giving with no expectations of receiving something in return. Seems like we’ve heard that one before (it is better to give than to receive, anyone?).
Ferrazzi sums this up near the end of the book when he says, “Life is less a quest than a quilt. We find meaning, love, and prosperity through the process of stitching together our bold attempts to help others find their own way in their lives. The relationships we weave become an exquisite and endless pattern,” (Never Eat Alone, 2005, p. 297, emphasis added).
Recently the Mediaspace Solutions business development group went through Ferrazzi’s book as a group in an effort to put what we learned into practice. Below are a few examples of both what’s been done and the sometimes immediate results we have experienced:
- While on a recent trip to NYC, I decided to build a relationship with two CEO's of major ad agencies. As part of the due diligence up front, I found out their favorite kind of wine by talking to their assistants. I purchased wine as gifts but bought Starbucks gift cards for their assistants. Both assistants were blown away by the gesture. "We never get any gifts" one said. I had two sincere conversations with two smart women and I now have regular communications with both of them. The key was being genuine and generous with no expectations in return. They are now on my "ping list" for regular communications. Keith's teachings work.
- Pinging/Generosity – I recently sent an email to a high level agency exec who I met years ago but have not been able to connect with in at least the past two years (despite repeated attempts). I sent this person a note of sincere appreciation for being a business professional I have enjoyed working with in the past, and it worked. The ping + sincere generosity helped me secure an in-person meeting.
- Warm Calling – I now do an exhaustive search for any type of reference I can "draft" off before sending a note to an executive I have not yet met. I am seeing the benefits first hand of making "6 degrees of separation" … one or two degrees. Example: I just referenced us working with an agency in New York that also has offices in Chicago. I was able to leverage that relationship to secure a meeting with the desired group in Chicago.
- Staying Connected – I have made a personal commitment to schedule either lunch or coffee with someone I know (or want to know) in the ad business – outside of just newspapers – at least every two weeks. Thus far I have established or re-established connections (and met) with people who work in or sell in complementary verticals and plan to continue this networking contact circle.
These examples are fresh so we haven’t yet fully realized the outcome. And abiding by Ferrazzi’s principles, the outcomes are not the key so much as the establishment of new relationships.
For more on Ferrazzi check out the video below and let us know in the comments how you’ve applied his concepts:
While trying to gain new leads and build a business by acquiring new clients, companies can neglect clients they have or forget who pays the bills. During these hard economic times, companies are becoming more selective on who they partner with. As a recent example, SC Johnson ended their 50 year relationship with DraftFCB brought their business to Ogilvy & Mather and BBDO. Click hereto read more on the SC Johnson/DraftFCB break-up.
Building relationships is important; it should be more than just a simple business transaction. Customers are less likely to focus on price alone if they have a personal relationship with a company.
You can develop a relationship by doing the following:
At Mediaspace Solutions we maintain contact by scouring the newsletters and industry publications to send our clients articles or information they have an interest in. We consistently strive to provide our client’s regular added-value. For us this includes executive briefings, case studies and white papers.
Use different mediums to contact them. With all the different methods available for communication, be sure to utilize them all. E-mail is a quick and dirty way to get in touch with someone. And a well-crafted e-mail can really make someone’s day. Unfortunately however people get bombarded by emails all the time. Send a handwritten note, pick-up the phone or engage them in a non-typical manner in order to strike up a conversation and make your interaction with them more memorable.
Make your message personalized. Write out a personal thank you note, or get them a meaningful gift that ties into the business relationship. Be sure to listen to what your clients say regarding their business and personal life. This process helps develop rapport and makes your relationship more enjoyable.
Mediaspace has some great partnerships and relationships with our clients. Some of our clients and partners receive personalized MaxBats which include handwritten “Thank You” notes personally from our CEO Scott Jagodzinki.
Be prompt with inquires. Everyone likes it when they have questions answered immediately. It helps make their experience with the company more enjoyable. Look for ways to turn any potentially negative situations into a good one: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/20978/Responding-to-Leads-Within-an-Hour-Generates-7x-the-Conversations.aspx
Mediaspace has an acronym we follow in order to ensure we are constantly creating new partnerships and strengthening our relationships with our current clients.
We focus on acquiring new clients, and once we have them, retention needs to be top-of-mind so we never lose a client based on performance. Development is our ability to expand our relationship with that client to increase the benefit they recognize by working with us. Mediaspace Solutions values its relationships and will continue to work to make them last.