Leader Of The Professional Pack

Here are 10 ways to stand out from the crowd

For every business endeavor, there are at least 10 other people with the same credentials you have. But whether you’re a job beginner or an established executive, you can stand head and shoulders above the crowd if you embrace and practice these 10 “little” things:

1. Know that your reputation is valuable. In fact, it often reaches people before you do. So in all your interactions, be sincere, thorough and, above all else, professional.

2. Do what you say you’re going to do. If you can’t deliver on time, pick up the phone as soon as possible and say so. Then make sure you meet the next deadline you’ve agreed to.

3. Return all phone calls. You never know who may be calling and why.

4. Be visible. You have to be out there if you want to get noticed. So attend as many professional seminars, luncheons, receptions, etc., as you can.

5. Develop a knack for remembering names. People love the sound of their own names and are impressed if you can remember theirs after only a brief introduction.

6. Get to know the support staff You need to get past them in order to get to the people you want to do business with. If you’re kind to them, you’ll have a better chance of being put through.

7. Let people know you’re available to speak. Participating in panel discussions and other events sponsored by clubs and service groups is a good way to get exposure and make contacts.

8. Keep a supply of all-occasion greeting cards. Pay attention to the special occasions of colleagues and prospective business contacts. It’s a thoughtful, inexpensive way to stay in touch.

9. Send follow-up notes after meetings. Mention something noteworthy about the encounter and open the possibility of getting together in the future.

10. Don’t forget to say “thank you.” It’s amazing how few people invest the time to express gratitude for a favor or a job well done. Remember, people don’t have to do anything for you.

Based on The Personal Touch: What You Really Need to Succeed in Today’s Fast-Paced Business World by Terrie Williams. Copyright (C) 1994. Reprinted by arrangement with Warner Books, $11.99.

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