People have attempted to deceive the rich and famous for years. As a result, such prospects are on guard, and extra sensitive to people who are trying to sell or con them. Social relationships can often lead to business relationships, because people often do business with people they like. If you’re truly sincere, prospects will be more likely to talk to you.
Besides making eye contact, here are ways to project that sincerity.
1. Be credible
We want to be seen as part of their world so sometimes we are tempted to embellish stories: name-drop famous people we haven’t really met; take more credit for a community project than we should; imply we’ve played famous golf courses we’ve never seen. Wealthy people often have a sixth sense what’s believable and what’s not.
Do: When in doubt, tone the story down a bit. Be modest. Let them draw you out.
Don’t: Exaggerate and paint yourself into a corner. They may ask details you can’t provide.
2. Establish a relationship based on common interests
You can reach people through their passion. Car, watch, coin and wine enthusiasts enjoy discussing their hobbies with fellow enthusiasts or people with a sincere interest in learning more. If you are a wine fan, this can lead to shopping trips, visits to new wine bars and dinner at each other’s homes.
Do: Identify their interests and passions. If you have an interest or a desire to learn more, let them know.
Don’t: Pretend to be interested or use it exclusively as a channel to get close for business. They can sense if you’re doing that.
3. Ask about their needs
If the prospect brought up the fact that his mother is ill when you met earlier, always ask for updates. It was an important-enough issue for him to raise it with you. Are his children away at school? Ask how they’re doing. Remember details. Many people take a superficial interest to get closer. You take a sincere interest because you care about him as a person.
Do: Learn what’s important to them. Draw them out if they will share details.
Don’t: Be dismissive of their answers and talk about yourself instead.
Wealthy people have lots of choice when it comes to buying services, and they will judge you by how you interact with them socially. So it’s important to follow up on promises you make in your personal relationships. If you say you’re going to call or show up at a set time, do it. If you offer to volunteer, follow through. Fail the personal test and it’s unlikely there will be a business test.