What Are You Communicating Through the Grapevine?

Marvyn Gaye’s song, “I heard it through the grapevine” comes to mind as I recall hearing about ‘Anita.’ The words people use to describe her are not kind. She is the perfect example of how salespeople kill the sale and entrepreneurs do damage to their personal brand.

Unanimously the stories about Anita began to unfold.

I couldn’t believe someone would behave that way in a community setting. But then I had my chance to experience the same. The common problem among the unsuccessful is they only think about themselves and not of the benefit for all concerned.

Anita chose to arrive at a social event the first evening, but all she did was talk non-stop. She gave no thought to the other people in the room. And the next day, she arrived with a small dog and placed it on top of a public chair. No thought was given to the idea someone might be allergic to dogs or that the furniture can easily be damaged. Some people were visibly upset and asked her to leave the premises.

On occasion, businesspeople are also asked to leave the room. Salespeople lose business all the time because they only focus on the sale and themselves. No regard is given to the people in the room or the company itself. The non-stop talking and attempting to sell results in the meeting being cut short with no hope of return.

Gaining the perspective of others and hearing their stories upfront is the ultimate sales tool. When clientele sees the attempt to become acquainted at the personal level and understand the decision-making process of the company, the likelihood of doing business increases significantly.

The only thing people should hear through the grapevine about you and your work is your credibility and thoughtfulness. Establishing this framework results in a returning and referring clientele. It becomes the foundation for good word mouth to spread virally.

Related: How Adept Do You Believe You Are?

When you are in meetings or interviewing for a job, do you:

  • Attempt to get to know the people meeting with you
  • Keep the big picture for everyone in mind from the first meeting onward
  • Delve into detailed questions to learn more?
  • The best approach is to conduct enough research ahead of time so that you may connect the dots between your goals and potentially those of the people with whom you are about to meet. This approach works well for social as well as business engagements.

    From what you have heard through the grapevine, and researched, do you have an idea of how you may improve the work environment for your prospective clientele?

    Can you honestly say your clients will be better off for having met with you?

    A previous blog, How Adept Do You Believe You Are? provides additional insights.

    One added element that takes into account the story above and how we treat clients is the occasional need to admit we erred and apologize. It’s a rare person who will do this, and so all is usually forgiven. And then you are on a steady path for moving forward.