Not everyone is in a position to meet a prospect in person. And a face-to-face doesn’t guarantee we will secure that relationship. Meetings can backfire because of many factors, including our tone of voice, the way we look, the clammy handshake, our laid back or rigid posture, even our name (especially if it’s the name of an ex they want to forget!).

In other cases, we just click. When we meet someone else who reminds us of ourselves in some way, we are going to hit it off. That’s often how we make friends. Although a business relationship isn’t about being friends, our aim is to build trust. We need a rapport that creates an atmosphere of comfort and understanding.

Is it true that personality is more important than talent when it comes to business relationships?

If you type the above sentence into Google, the main items that stand out all highlight personality.

Why personality?

Companies who are successful realize that to retain employees and find ones who will find joy in working for that organization, are ones who fit snugly into the corporate culture. Corporate culture is the core of the workplace. It is the foundation of what the business represents; they need others to reflect that within the walls during working hours and outside of the company during their downtime.

Personality matters

We want to work with people that “get” us and in turn, prospects want us to grasp their needs and what we can ultimately do for them. Our talent will be an asset to achieving our goals, but our personality is what will help get us through those heavy doors of introduction.

Personality isn’t something that can be faked. You need to be yourself and you’ll discover that either you mesh with a prospect or company or you don’t. That’s okay. It’s better to know that early because it becomes a challenge to cut ties when you’re deep into the project and you are unhappy.

Your marketing – whether it’s your website, blog, articles or advertisements – carry your tone. Your prospects, and ultimately your clients, understand who you are and the type of working relationship they can expect from you, even before you meet or have that phone conversation. They have a sense of your personality through what they’ve read or seen online.

The talent thing helps too.

What does this mean for you?

Whether you are your own boss, you work for one or you’re more of a business-to-business company, don’t underestimate the value of your unique personality. People are drawn to others who are kind, good listeners, cheerful and positive motivators. We like people who have a good sense of humor, even during stressful moments. We enjoy ones who are encouraging. Really – we like to be around the cool people, and those are the traits that make people truly cool. Right?

We can typically gauge early on in the relationship if we’re going to mesh with someone. Even businesses have a personality. They might be rigid, spunky, laid back, conservative, sophisticated – you name it. And those businesses will be drawn to others and ultimately hire the ones who represent its personality. So it shouldn’t be a surprise to you if you fit in a particular area or company versus someone else. That’s why sometimes we might hop around a few companies until we feel comfortable in that fit.

This isn’t to say talent doesn’t have anything to do with securing that important business relationship. You can get along great with the above-said cool person, but if he/she doesn’t have the talent to back up her claims, the connection could go a little sour. Both personality and talent are important to snagging business liaisons. But both are also necessary to retain those relationships. And it’s because of personality and talent that businesses often will work with you even if your pricing might be a bit higher than others.

The takeaway

If you find yourself struggling to secure these connections, perhaps you’re targeting people or companies that are not a good fit for you. Or it could be that your product or your talent needs a bit of work. On the other hand, it could be your personality. Ask colleagues and friends who will give you honest answers about these areas. But be prepared for the response. Then do some more work to improve. Think about why you’re drawn to certain people and their traits. Then try to imitate those qualities.

Because in the end, isn’t it better to get along with one another? When we are free to communicate and we’re more relaxed and comfortable, all that does is grow the relationship.

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