“Schmoozing is not Selling”

Schmoozing is not Selling.

Sorry I can’t remember the source of this very smart quote.  And I’m even sorrier that I didn’t learn this lesson in my early twenties rather than my (late?) 30s.

In my first job as a consulting engineer, I worked with another twenty-something engineer whom I’ll call “Susan”.  Compared to the other young engineers at our office, Susan and I spent a lot more time visiting with our firm’s various clients, and I rightfully felt that she and I were a notch better at the business side of things than our engineering-only peers.

But when our firm moved to a new building, I couldn’t help but notice that Susan got assigned to a nice private office while I was relegated to one of the large shared spaces.  So why did she rate better?  Turns out that I was spending most of my “relationship” time getting to know our clients personally and building an amicable bond.  By contrast, Susan was spending her relationship time finding out what our clients needed to get done, and telling them we could take care of it in exchange for a large chunk of money.

Schmoozing is not Selling.

And when you get right down to it, while those clients may have liked me more, they were getting a lot better service from Susan.  I was getting to know them, personally.  She was solving their problems, professionally.

Stay tuned for a followup post: Selling is Helping.

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