The Art of the Schmooze Part 5: The All Important Smile

Tuesday, January 5, 2010 , Posted by Johnny Fuery at 4:21 PM

Originally Published 2007-08-12 14:50:43

This is part 5 of an ongoing series of articles entitled “The Art of the Schmooze”. Here’s a list of the other posts in this series (some are yet-to-be-written; will be updated after completion). Please note that these articles, although certainly useful in all social interactions, are written mostly with salesmanship in mind. Since I’m single and spend a lot of time on athletics, I tend to use dating and basketball as metaphors, but I nevertheless hope that you’ll find these tactics of higher value in getting your startup funded, increasing your sales, and improving your bottom line.


  1. Introduction

  2. Showing genuine interest

  3. The mirror game

  4. Conveying openness through body language

  5. The All-Important Smile (this post)

  6. Making Eye Contact

  7. Breaking the ice

  8. Listening attentively and actively

  9. Finding something in common

  10. Questions vs. Statements

  11. Add value to the conversation


Smiley Face Ball from WikipediaI've already talked about body language and how it can affect how others perceive you, and this post is congruous to that theme. Even if your body language is open and inviting, if you carry a scowl on your face and fail to make eye contact, you'll find it very difficult to make new friends and sell yourself to clients.

A smile expresses positivity, optimism, and poise. Forcing yourself to smile when you're grumpy can actually improve your mood. That same smile will tend to have the same effect on those around you. If new acquaintances and potential partners feel happier around you, they will automatically associate your presence with positive feelings. And positive feelings combined with confidence is what closes sales.

In other words, smiling is one of the key factors in making people like you. Without a smile, it's an uphill battle. In the snow, barefoot, both ways. ;-)

It's important, of course, to be genuine. If you can find the optimism and confidence inside naturally, channel it as you remind yourself to enter every room with a big smile on your face. If you cannot channel that energy consistently (and, really, who can be positive every day?), then learn how to manufacture it. Practice in a mirror. Look at yourself in recent photos, picking out the ones where your feelings were distinctive. I have found in my own experience, for instance, that a huge smile with my pearly whites tends to convey a fun, carefree attitude, while cocking my head to one side slightly with a semi-smirk of a smile is confident with a subtext of mystery. Aside from the obvious flirtatious properties of the latter (especially with a wink and a compliment added for good measure), I have found this to be extremely useful in business dealings, especially when acting as a vendor. Add a little self-assuredness, the ability to address client questions on your feet, and that semi-smirk switches quickly from "let's have dinner together" to "let's go make a bunch of money together".

And who wouldn't want that?

Comments

On 2008-03-23 23:58:30 http://fuery.com/2007/08/12/the-art-of-the-schmooze-part-56-eye-contact-and-the-all-important-smile/ said:
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