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Whether you’re just starting up your first business, or you’ve been running businesses for years, I hope you're kicking some goals and enjoying some wins because that's what it's all about, isn't it?
The topic for this article “Why Smiling In Business Is Important” is something that I feel extremely passionate about. And the reason I feel so passionate about it is that I've seen it work in real life – including in our own business.
It's something that costs nothing to implement, and you don't need to be highly educated to achieve it. In fact, all of us, every single one of us, has the ability to do it.
I'm talking about smiling and the positive impact it can have on your business.
Now, some of you may be thinking that smiling has nothing to do with making money or putting money in the bank.
I can understand why you would think that.
But when we smile it actually changes our mental and physical state. Our face opens up to become more welcoming, and our body language improves.
This is good for business, which is why we’re going to look at the importance of smiling.
Why We Should All Be Smiling?
When you smile, you will start to see a more positive company culture within the staff in your organisation. Customers will be encouraged to engage with you. And relationships with suppliers will improve.
I'll give you an example of how it works.
I was recently out for lunch with my wife at a waterside restaurant and it was a beautiful sunny day. The waitress sat us at a table, and she said all the right things, like “Hi. How are you?” and, “Come and take a seat.”
But when she spoke, her body language was negative, and she didn’t smile. She just seemed grumpy and irritated to be there, and her attitude rubbed off onto us.
She was saying and doing the right things as she provided table service. But a simple, genuine smile on her face would have made a world of difference to our experience in dealing with her.
Unfortunately, there are many businesses out there where customers are never greeted by a friendly smiling face. If people smiled more often, there would be much better customer service and more positive interactions between staff and customers.
Dale Carnegie And Smiling
I never used to think about the importance of smiling until I did a course based on the famous book, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
Carnegie wrote the book back in 1936 but it’s still relevant to how people conduct business today, and after reading the book I signed up for the course. I wanted to find out more and studying the material absolutely changed my professional life.
Before, when I would arrive at a seminar, I'd be the one standing in the corner checking emails on my phone. I wouldn't talk to people. But Carnegie’s teachings helped me to network better.
One of the main skills that I learnt was the importance of smiling.
During the course, I talked to a CEO who said he had been struggling to engage with his staff. They wouldn't communicate with him because he wasn’t approachable.
Instead, he started putting a smile on his face and he found that, over time, the staff started warming up to him. It had a huge positive impact on his business and shows that smiling opens the door for communication.
Another benefit of smiling is that it’s harder to be angry or have an argument with someone that is smiling.
So, if you're going into a difficult meeting, try greeting the person with a smiling face. It’s a much better way to start than with a scowl.
Dale Carnegie offers practical and proven advice on how to deal with people and understand them in order to get along well with them to make your life more rewarding. Carnegie believed that financial success, to a very large extent, depends on ‘the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership and to arouse enthusiasm among people'. Learn More
Business Is Better With A Smile
Smiling people are just more attractive, so it really is a no brainer when it comes to implementing it in your business.
But it needs to be a genuine smile and not a fake grin.
Yes, we all smile, but being conscious of how we smile can make a difference. I’m talking about having a culture in your business that encourages open and friendly smiling faces. Even when answering the telephone.
We have a rule in our office that before anyone answers the phone they have to check if they’re smiling. When you answer the phone with a smile, the person on the other end of the line can hear it in your voice.
The same applies if you answer the phone in a bad mood. Plus, if you’re negative, the customer is more likely to be negative in response.
3 rules for answering the phone with a smile:
- Sit upright with good posture.
- Put a smile on your face.
- Get into the right zone to have a positive conversation.
It makes an amazing difference.
Likewise, if you're walking down the street to get a coffee, check if you have a smile on your face and if you have good posture. You are a reflection of your business. If people see you with a grumpy look on your face, that's how they’re also seeing your business.
And it doesn't matter whether your business is online or offline.
If you work online and you have a scowl on your face as you write an email, that will come through in your communication. Whether it’s with your customers, suppliers or staff.
Smiling And Company Culture
So, how can you change a company culture to embrace smiling?
As a business leader, it starts by forming a habit within you. You need to start every day by putting a smile on your face.
I found that exercising is really useful for this and helps to set myself up for a successful day.
Every morning I go for a walk around a lake, and there are always lots of other people doing the same. Something I’ve noticed is that you can always tell the difference between the happy ones and the not so happy.
The happy people are walking upright, they've got a smile on their face, and they're really into their morning walk. Their positivity is infectious and builds momentum in others. But the unhappy people are hunched over and they can barely say, “Hello.”
Breathing exercises are another way to form a habit of smiling.
Try inhaling, then breathe out through your mouth and finish with a smile on your face. It produces a relaxed, genuine smile. So, when you find yourself getting stressed or grumpy, just focus on your breathing and exhale with a smile.
Remember, smiling at someone says they are welcome in your business. We all get stressed and have bad days, but it’s important not to let it spill out onto the business.
Equally as important is to always greet customer service staff at other businesses with a smile.
You will find that you receive better service everywhere you go if you smile. I always hear people complaining about the poor service they received somewhere, but often the negativity started with them.
Smiling is infectious and doors start to open when you build better relationships.
Here is a great passage from Carnegie’s Book:
“Whenever you go outdoors draw the chin in, carry the crown of the head high, and fill the lungs to the utmost; drink in the sunshine; greet your friends with a smile, and put soul into every handclasp.
“Do not fear being misunderstood and do not waste a minute thinking about your enemies.
“Try to fix firmly in your mind what you would like to do; and then, without veering off direction, you will move straight to the goal.
“Keep your mind on the great and splendid things you would like to do, and then, as the days go gliding away, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing upon the opportunities that are acquired for the fulfilment of your desire.”
For me, that sums up everything.
Smiling is a skill that you have to practice, but I guarantee it will make a profound difference to the way you run your business and the relationships that you have as a result.
More On The Importance Of Smiling
This topic was originally featured on Episode 2 of the Business Made Easy Podcast Titled, The Importance Of A Smile In Business. So, if you haven't done so already, feel free to visit iTunes, Spotify Or Google Podcasts and hit the subscribe button to get each weekly episode as it comes out.
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