familyHave you ever had someone turn a festive holiday dinner party into a sales presentation for his (or her) new business opportunity?

You’re right. It is not fun; not appropriate; and definitely not appreciated.

So why would anyone do that?

Whether you sell real estate, insurance, alarm systems, or network marketing stuff, you are excited about it… or maybe just scared and covering that with excitement. Your new sales training team jacks up your excitement and enthusiasm level because “enthusiasm sells”.

That’s all well and good. Then they teach you some old, worn-out ideas about “Always Be Closing” or “If there is anyone within three feet of you, sell them”. That is a perfect setup for massive rejection and social shunning.

If you have been following this series, you know a better way to talk to people… and it does take some patience.

So let’s go back to that holiday dinner party. You have a whole crowd within three feet of you and lots more you can be closing. Are you going to do it?

I hope not. Someone might try drowning you in the punch bowl and if they don’t do that, they will definitely scratch you off their list of invitees to the next soiree.

Yes, they may need your product or services.

Yes, you can give them a good deal.

No, this is not the time or place to do that.

So what is an enthusiastic new company evangelist to do?

Simply announce that you now work with City Realty, or Big State Life, or whoever.

No, that does not mean you’re supposed to stand up, tap the side of your Champaign flute to get their attention and make your big announcement. (By the way, I’ve experienced dumber things than that.)

Just work the topic into the conversation easily and naturally. For instance, when your aunt Sasha asks what you’re doing these days, control yourself and say “Oh, I just started selling real estate (or whatever), please pass the coleslaw.” Let it go at that.

She may ask you a question or two about your new opportunity. Be cool. Resist the temptation to barf your whole company presentation all over her lap. She’s probably just being nice and really doesn’t give a hoot.

If she really does want to know more about your product or service, be an adult and say something like, “That is great, Aunt Sasha! Would you like to meet me in my office early next week, or would you prefer I come over to your place Tuesday evening?”

Your festive holiday dinner party is neither the time nor the place to be conducting business… even if Aunt Sasha is insistent. Other people will overhear your conversation and choose to feel sorry for Aunt Sasha and believe that you are some sort of hustler that will corner them at the next event.

When they overhear you say “I’ll be delighted to meet with you during normal business hours.” They will note approvingly that you are a real professional and not the same kind of pest their ex-brother-in-law was.

There you go… short, simple, and guaranteed to impress your father-in-law.

All you have to do is remember to keep business and pleasure at arm’s length from each other. Remember what you learned from Dale Carnegie and practice your friend-winning skills. You might be surprised at how many wonderful people your mother-in-law knows when she is proud to brag about the great business person her brilliant child married.

It’s worth a shot and you’ll still be invited to the next festive occasion and get a shot at talking to your rich Uncle Phil.

Good luck J

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