We notice, we listen to, we respect and we follow those people with higher levels of charisma.  Charisma is not an aura that only special people possess. Charisma is a force of human personality which can be understood and developed. Becoming charismatic – like becoming anything else you want to be – requires knowledge, self awareness and effort.  Charisma enables us to influence and inspire others, which from time to time we all need to do – even the introverts among us. Fox Cabane in her bestselling new book, The Charisma Myth, explains that charismatic behavior can actually be broken down into three essential elements: (1) presence, (2) power, and (3) warmth. This might explain why when you first meet a charismatic person, you consciously or unconsciously get the impression that they possess a lot of power. You also tend to believe they like you, and care about you.

Presence – The cornerstone of presence, is being present in your interactions. It’s about being consciously alert and engaged in conversations, both through the words you choose, and through active listening.

Power and Warmth – Research has shown that power and warmth are the two dimensions we care about most in assessing others’ charisma. Different from presence – power and warmth are intrinsically linked to each other. In a way, they’re like two sides of the same coin and they need to work in balance. Being seen as powerful means being perceived as able to affect our will on others. When we meet someone new, we are trained to look for clues of that person’s power in her appearance, in others’ reaction to this person, and, most of all, in the person’s body language. Warmth, on the other hand, is goodwill toward others. A person’s exhibited tells us whether or not they’ll use whatever power they have in our favor or not. Being seen as warm means being seen as benevolent, caring, or willing to make sacrifices for others best interest. Warmth is assessed almost entirely through body language and behavior.
Imagine how your life would be different if every time you entered a room, people took notice of you; paid close attention to what you had to say; and secretly hoped to become your friend. Your assignment this week:  Notice those around you that are charismatic and look to emulate how they use presence, power and warmth  to increase their influence and effectiveness.


Last week, millions of families celebrated Thanksgiving. We spent time with our family and friends to celebrate a holiday focused on Giving Thanks for the blessings we have been given. As we near the end of this year and head into the holiday season, it is fitting that we begin with gratitude.  As business owners it is appropriate to take time to recognize those who have helped you achieve your success.  Your customers are without a doubt the most important people in your business success. Give some thought to how you will recognize their value to you and your business?  How will they, beyond a shadow of a doubt, know that you value them, respect them, admire them and appreciate them? Let’s start with this thought. Anything you do is worth doing with a personal touch! If you are going to send a note, make it a personal note. If you are going to send a card, make it a personal card. If you are sending a gift, make it something that relates to that particular client. Think about how many fruit baskets you have received over the years. More than just a handful I would bet. So why not be different? Why not stand out from the crowd? Do something that really matters – something that gets the kind of response you hope for. Need ideas?  Seek out someone who specializes in gift giving, talk with other business owners, take note of what others are doing.  But, just so you don’t go empty handed into this important time of year, here are a few ideas to consider:
  • Send them something unique and specialized – even with their name on it.
  • Send them tickets to a special holiday event with your personal note attached.
  • Host a holiday happy hour, open house or dinner where they can bring their significant other.
  • Buy them a book related to their business or hobby.
  • For B2B customers consider providing them with a testimonial video or framed letter.
  • For those that have everything, make a donation to a client’s favorite charity
If you’re thinking, these are good ideas, but each of them will cost a lot of money, then you need to re-set your thinking. Take a minute to remind yourself of the lifetime value of a good customer in your business. If a good customer stays with you two or three years and they do multiple transactions with you, the cost of a special gift or personal invitation is comparatively small. YOUR CHALLENGE THIS WEEK:  To plan how you will recognize your best customers. Over the long term, it is one of the best ways to retain your customers, get more referrals and grow your business.  

Killer Closes

Who would like to be even better at sales? Well here are 2 tips courtesy of Brian Tracy that will increase your effectiveness. The first technique is known as the Preference or Alternative Close. This approach is based on the fact that people like to have choices. During the sales process you don’t want to present what may sound like an  ultimatum to either buy it or not buy it.   Instead you want to present choices or alternatives. To apply this technique, you simply structure your close by saying, “Which of these would you prefer, A or B?” With this technique, it doesn’t matter which one your prospective customer selects, you would make a sale either way. You should always try to give the customer two choices. Even if you are selling a single product, you can offer choices on  payment or delivery, for instance. For example, “Would you like this delivered to your office or to your home address?” “Will that be MasterCard or Visa?” “Would you like the ABC100 or the ABC101?”   And so on. The second closing technique is appropriately known as the secondary close.  This is a very popular approach, it is a way of helping your customer make a big decision by having them make a small decision that assumes the big decision.  By focusing on the smaller details, you are assuming the acceptance of the larger sale. For example, you could ask, “Would you want this shipped in a wooden crate, or would cardboard be all right?” “Would you like us to include the drapes and rods in the offer?” “Did you want to include XYZ or would you like to have ABC instead?” In each case, if your prospect agrees to or chooses the smaller item, he has indirectly said, “Yes” to the entire offering. People often find it easier to agree to small details than they do to making a larger commitment. That’s why this is sometimes called the Incremental Close, where you obtain commitment bit by bit to the entire offer. Regardless of what you are selling – closing the sale is critical. YOUR CHALLENGE:  Notice how you structure your close in your sales process, is there an opportunity to use alternatives or secondary closing techniques to improve your effectiveness and help your customers buy.  

Lead with Your Why

Why are some people so successful and others who appear to have it all in their favor, fail? The famous author, Simon Sinek, addresses this exact question in his book ‘Start with Why”. So often, we believe that a business or financial goal is going to complete and fulfill us, and we use this as the motive for what we do. However, in stark contrast to this way of thinking, Sinek came to see a pattern in the most successful people, and it boiled down to a genuine, burning passion and belief in what they were doing. In other words, the most successful people seem to “Start with the Why,” what inspires them most, and build from there. Sinek’s message is focused around finding answers to meaningful “Why” questions such as:
  • “Why do you get out of bed in the morning — what motivates you?”
  • “Why should anyone care about what you’re doing, what you’re offering?”
  • “What is the burning desire behind what you do?”
  • “What kind of work would you do even if you weren’t paid to do it?”
Sinek found that the most successful people and inspiring organizations operate from the inside out.  In the end, according to Sinek, people don’t buy what you do — they buy why you do it, and what you do only “proves” what you believe. YOUR CHALLENGE THIS WEEK:  Define your “Why”, then begin to use it as part of the conversations you have with clients and those in your inner circle.  

The Response You Get

Have you ever been frustrated when you can’t get someone to do what you want them to do?  You know what you want done, but somewhere it gets lost between your mouth and their ears.  Are you frustrated that you can’t get them to do what is expected of them. Once you realize that “Communication is the Response that you get” – you can begin to make some changes that will dramatically increase your effectiveness as a communicator. First, look at the message that you are delivering.
  • Plan your message – as simple as jotting down the goal of the conversation, outlining the points you want to make.  Include the what, the why, the when and the how.
  • Know your audience – different people will need more or less information to get the full meaning of the message.  The same message doesn’t work for everyone.
  • State your intent – Start with the purpose, for example, “John, I need this information sent to ABC Company.”
  • Check your tone and body language – the verbal message should match.
  • Avoid repeating yourself – condense your message, try not to repeat your message over and over.
Second, check for understanding.  Ask open ended questions to check for clarity and understanding.  For example, “What’s your next step based on our conversation?” or “Could you explain what you heard me say?”  Don’t fall into the trap of using “Do you understand?” – the answer is always ‘Yes’. Bottom line, it does take time to deliver a high-quality message and it does pay off when you get the response you desire. Remember – Communication is the response you get! YOUR CHALLENGE THIS WEEK:   Slow down in your communication, look at the message, check for understanding and own the response you get!