“Energy motivates but charisma inspires.” ~ Simon Shinek
Having high energy certainly motives people. The problem with that is, when he energy is removed, so is the motivation. The late Zig Ziglar may have described motivation best when he said, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” But you probably don’t get the chance to interact with your customers on a daily basis. That’s why charisma is the better choice. As Shinek says in his quote, charisma inspires. Isn’t that really what we are after – to inspire our customers?
A perfect example of what I’m talking about can be seen by taking a look at Microsoft. The current CEO, who replaced Bill Gates, is a man named Steve Ballmer. When Steve takes the stage, he is definitely a very motivating guy. He is high volume, high energy, constantly moving and will break into a sweat after just a few minutes on stage. Take a look at one of Steve’s many videos on Youtube and you will see what I mean. The guy is definitely a motivator.
Contrast that to Bill Gates who, for the most part, is an introvert. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Bill Gates yelling on a stage or bouncing from one side of the stage to the other. He’s just not that guy – but still Bill Gates inspired millions with his charisma.
Charisma is defined as, “a spiritual virtue or personal quality that gives a person influence over another.” Isn’t that ultimately what we want with our customers – to have influence? Maybe at this point we should delve into the meaning of influence. Webster defines influence as, “The action or process of producing effects on the actions, behavior and opinions of others.” So if our goal is to influence the actions, behavior and opinions of our customers, we need to have more charisma. So how do we develop the personal quality that gives us influence over another?
The internet is filled with articles and studies on developing charisma and having greater influence. Each writer adds and adjusts their own variations, but the jest is pretty much the same. To develop charisma you must:
- Be confident. You build confidence by knowing your subject matter. The more you know, the more comfortable you become. If you know inside that if your customer should ask you a question, you will not know the answer, it will show immediately in a nervous presentation with a total lack of confidence. Roll play, read, roll play some more, learn everything you can and then go learn some more. If you give a presentation that does not go well, take some time afterwards to analyze what went wrong or what you could have done differently. Always be learning. As your knowledge grows, so will your confidence.
- Be committed. You have to know why you do what you do. In the storage business, we are there to help solve problems for our customers. If you are there for any other reason, you are probably in the wrong line of work. Our customers are experiencing some sort of problem in their lives. Either they just relocated or are about to, they just had a death in the family, they just lost their job or they just need more room. If you’re not there to genuinely help them solve their problem, you’re never going to inspire them.
- Remember the Golden Rule. Every faith on earth, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, you name it, have as a basic precept, some derivative of the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Treat people the way you want to be treated. Ask yourself, “Would I buy from me?” If the answer is “No!” then you are not treating your customers the way you would want to be treated. You’re not answering their questions properly. You’re not engaging them. And you’re definitely not inspiring them to do business with you!
- Body language. In many ways, this aspect of charisma ties into being confident, but where confidence is built through practice and knowledge, the body language I’m talking about mostly comes from grooming. It’s just a proven fact – when you look good, you feel good. And trust me, you don’t look good when your hair isn’t combed, you have on no make-up – or too much make-up, your shirt looks like you slept in it and your shoes should have been thrown in the trash six months ago. Take the time to look your best and you will stand a little straighter and be more prone to make eye contact with your customers. This will have a huge impact on your ability to inspire.
I do want to be very clear on one thing – I’m not knocking being motivated. To the contrary. I love motivation and consider myself to be a very motivated person and it is that inner motivation I’ve been blessed with that drives me to do things I may not want to do because I know the payoff will be well worth the effort, but I also know motivation pales in comparison to inspiration. Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t “motivate” people into getting behind the civil rights movement; he “inspired” them to. That makes all the difference.
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- Why Entrepreneurs Need Charisma and Six Easy Ways to Project it (alleywatch.com)
- Charisma (tomaplomb.blogspot.com)
- 10 Habits of Remarkably Charismatic People (mrlasecki.wordpress.com)