7 Face-to-Face Blunders

face to face blundersOnline. We love being online. There are no set times, we come and go as we please and engage in conversations, find great articles to read and wonder what life was like before the internet. For some of us we hear stories of what life was like before TV and laugh. Our kids will laugh when we tell them that there was no cable, internet, iTunes, DVR and texting! I remember when cable was launched, VCR’s, push button telephones, 8-tracks and vinyl albums. Prior to the internet, the main source of communication was the telephone and the good ole face-to-face meetings. That was how business was done and how we built relationships. As a marketer there has to be a balance between social media marketing and face-to-face meetings. For some it has been a while, for others we are wall flowers when we are not in our “element”. So as you go and get back out there or continue to be out there, here are some blunders to avoid.

1. Business Card Shove. Please do not have your business card ready to hand out before you even say hello. Let them ask for it. I think of it this way Рdo I want this person to have my contact information before I even know their name? Do I want to be on their creepy email list so they can increase their numbers?

2. What you do in more than 10 words. So you meet someone and they say, So what do you do? If you have a “elevator speech” you go into that and you lost them. If you hesitate for a second you seem unsure and you lost them. My rule is 10 words or less. Why? Those 10 words tell the story if they are going to ask questions to allow you to embellish or if they see no value in talking further.

Ex: We make people look good and get them noticed.

Ambiguous – very but conversation opener.

Keep it simple and avoid: expert, guru, the man – the biggest names in social media are the simplest on what they do. One of the biggest, calls himself a typist. A typist? Really? Yes.

That begs people to say “how” or maybe think you are obnoxious. Keep in mind the delivery of your 10 words or less is part of the reaction. Exude confidence. 10 words or less easier to remember than the elevator speech.

3. Dominating the Conversation. Breathe! Let them do the talking so you can hear what they do and are about and how they fit into your life.

4. Playing with your Phone. Screams uninterested when really you just might be shy. It can be hard to walk into a room where it feels like everyone knows someone and you do not. Relax. Be confident.

5. Not Meeting Someone New. If you are attending a lot of events and you see the same people, go and find someone who you do not know and bring them with you.

6. Blank Stare. What says leave me alone more than the blank stare? Yes, some people are not ones that we wish to engage in conversation with – it happens, sometimes a lot but it is sending off a bad message.

7. One Foot In. You see someone you would rather be talking to and you have the one foot moving towards the other person and the lean. The person who is talking sees it, feels it and knows it. You are not listening to them. Take a minute to listen and then when the conversation ends, go to who you know.

Many of these “blunders” are body language which is another can of worms but as an overview avoiding these blunders will go a long way. Part of being a marketer is becoming a better one and the only way is to be out there. Show people what you got and why they should trust you and work with you.

What blunders have you noticed? What makes you a better marketer? How can we all be better marketers? What are your 10 words or less?

photo credit: Matt from London

  • hanks Suzanne for another great post. I haven't been to an in-person networking meeting for 2 years. This is a reminder to open to both kinds of marketing.

    My 11 word blurb for in person is:

    “I help professionals manifest their book dream and brand their business.”
    Posted @ Wednesday, November 11, 2009 11:08 AM by Judy Cullins

    These are excellent reminders for those of us looking for work. It's easy to stay behind a computer all day; these tips give us the confidence we need to get out and shake hands and kiss babies!
    Posted @ Wednesday, November 11, 2009 11:22 AM by douglas Aguiar

    Good information. I believe that everyone has to remember “we only have one chance to make an initial impression” therefore, do it right.
    Posted @ Wednesday, November 11, 2009 1:15 PM by Ralph Richard

    Love reading your stuff, Suzanne. Practical and insightful.

    Re: #7 – I'm reminded of a time [way-back-when] I used to believe that when I was at a convention and speaking to one person, I needed to acknowledge EVERYONE who would pass by me —- thereby interrupting conversations . . . making my conversation partner feel “less.”
    THANK HEAVENS, but I learned NOT to do that.

    Another tip that I heard recently was that when you go to a network function, set a goal of meeting three or five [or however many] people.

    Thanks, again, for the opportunity to think about this topic.
    Posted @ Wednesday, November 11, 2009 2:41 PM by Shari Weiss

    Judy – I like your 11 word as it tells what you do but then it creates an opportunity for the person to ask HOW?

    Shari – thanks for sharing your experiences. It is hard to resist the urge to acknowledge everyone but like you said your conversation partner does feel less.

    Douglas- it is easy to sit behind the computer and check out stats and chat online all day but there is a local community out there that needs your services or product as well.

    Ralph – yes! I was hoping someone would point that out.
    Posted @ Thursday, November 12, 2009 12:17 AM by Suzanne Vara

    My answer to what we do???

    “We Manufacture Solutions”…

    What do you think their reply is???

    Posted @ Thursday, November 12, 2009 6:57 AM by Ron> 4TTC@charter.net

    I love your 10 word concept. I will definately put it to use.

    The internet has allowed us to become anonymous. We create imaginary personas for others to see. With face to face meetings it is harder to project a false image. The internet has taken away real interaction with others. Etiquette and rules of conduct have become the casualty.
    Posted @ Saturday, November 14, 2009 10:34 AM by Gail Sperlich


    I agree however when engaging in conversation online we are who we are and that will eventually come out. I tell people we all talk a certain way. If someone said that I said Oh crap, that sucks, there is probably no denying that as I do say that. Now, if someone said that I said, Well that is a day ruiner, then that could be challenged as I do not say that. Within social media we can create a persona however through engagement and interaction (should you partake) it does come out.

    I do think that the internet has allowed us to limit our interaction with others as we have no set time to be online where in a face to face we do. The casualty is dead on. The well I will catch them later online is not a practice in face to face. Internet sometimes lacks discipline.
    Posted @ Monday, November 16, 2009 3:32 AM by Suzanne Vara