Marketing by handshake

What’s the key to business success?

Jay Newman

   A firm handshake.

   The handshake originated as the conferring of power from the gods to an earthly ruler in ancient Egypt. It later appeared on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

   Later still, handshakes became the way for medieval villagers to show strangers they were unarmed. With the bulk of society having a right-handed bias — and with that hand primarily used for sword battle — extending the right hand showed you had no weapon. This tradition carried forward to modern times.

   Thirty years in the business trenches have taught me there’s no silver bullet for achieving success. However, I have noticed patterns among most top performers, including:

   •Surrounding themselves with talented people.

   •Having an ability to communicate well.

   •Offering a firm handshake.

   Proffering a handshake as a greeting is now a standard business practice in our culture, regardless of gender, age or race. Refusal to shake hands is considered suspect by many.

   Which suggests if your business is based on building personal relationships, it’s possible you might improve sales with a firmer handshake. Halfway between a bone-crushing grip and a limp fish should do the trick, I figure.

   My mother always told me everyone wants to be associated with a winner. Since a firm handshake is perceived in our society as a sign of confidence and strength, it stands to reason that those wanting to associate with a winner will seek to pal around with the owner of that handshake.

   As with so much in sales or marketing, understanding your audience is critical to making the proper handshake impression. Doing a fist bump with someone you’ve just met (with the possible exception of Michelle Obama) probably won’t look too good. Likewise, shaking hands very stiffly — à la Richard Nixon — with a new acquaintance on a camping trip won’t go over really well either.

   Your path to profits and glory may be a great sales promotion. For me the key to growing revenues might be good publicity.

   But whatever your strategy is for building the bottom line, improving your human contact abilities with a good solid handshake should increase your odds for success.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.


Be sure to stop Mr. Marketing on the street and shake his hand. Or stop by and visit him online at www.askmrmarketing.com.

   
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