Friday, April 15, 2005

Professional Seduction

Just picture that gorgeous person that serves you coffee every morning and seduces you with a smile. He may not be trying to purposely to attract you but does so because he knows that a warm smile invokes faithfulness in his clients… they’ll keep coming back for more… errr… coffee and smiles.

Seduction in the work environment?!

It’s everywhere and it’s not necessarily destructive. Professionalism is not compromised by a little flirting. In fact, I believe that it creates the lighter hearted atmosphere that holds the satisfaction and success of most major companies. If you are able to take away the naughty connotation in the word seduction, then this concept becomes much easier to grasp. Respect is what keeps flirting healthy.
Who hasn’t been able to convince a colleague to help you by either pouting your lip or asking in your softest low-keyed “I’m desperate” voice?
My latest seduction victory was on my boss. I took advantage of his fresh haircut by telling him that he looked like this friend I had back in high school. His ego immediately inflated triple its size, first because he imagined that I implied that the new haircut made him look younger and perhaps even more jovial and attractive. With this victory, I managed to keep him in an exceptionally good mood for the first half of the morning and got him to approve over 20 credits that I’d been begging him to do for over two weeks.
It doesn’t go to say that he wouldn’t have approved them if I hadn’t simply said “Please approve those credits”… after all, he wasn’t doing me any special favour by doing his job. However the fact that I managed to make him feel good about himself, immediately created the urge to reciprocate, and so he chose to do something that he knew would please me.

We take temptation further into seducing our clients as well. Whoever said that seduction isn’t professional: obviously never tried it!!! Having network problems thanks to the installation of new 3rd generation antenna’s, I was bombarded by calls from irritated clients who were none too impressed by the fact that their calls kept failing. Explaining that the reason was because we were in network testing didn’t exactly help to calm my client down until I told him: “We have to test out our networks to make sure that the next phone you buy allows you to see your beautiful wife on the other side”
To this remark my client starting laughing and told me that the kind of technology I was talking about was going to be the cause of marital problems. To this I couldn’t resist replying in my most innocent voice:
“Aww, don’t say that! We only have our costumer’s best interests at heart and with this kind of technology just imagine how faithful our costumers are going to be! With this in mind, we’ll be saving marriages instead of putting them in jeopardy”
My two comments aren’t part of my job description nor are they necessary to the satisfaction of the client however with them; I won a happy client that ordered a new 3G Samsung Z107… why did he choose it over the Nokia 6630? Maybe because I also mentioned that I myself own and love my Samsung. So let’s count our gains again:
1. Satisfied client that is no longer threatening to change operator
2. The sale of another mobile contract
3. Managing to keep the department’s budget down by contracting the cheaper and more reliable of the 3G cell phones.

Seduction can also be veiled into being called “negotiation”. You tell me what you want, I tell you what I want we negotiate for something in between…
There are those clients who get all that is expected from me due to professionalism. And then there are those clients that get all that and more because of the seduction they practice. Either they are wise enough to ask me about my weekend or they call me nicknames like “sweetness” or “darling”. One particular client likes to call me princess and makes a point of always calling before she comes to see me.
As observed, sales seduction is something that is not limited to gender.
That client that always walks in as if he walked out of a cologne factory does serious damage to my olfactory senses. And that client that insists on touching my hand each time I pass him a document or folder, sends dangerous electric signals up my spine. That’s not to mention the sultry voices I often get over the phone, but it’s those that grasp eye contact for more that the usual 3 seconds that really manage to mess around with my sensory functions. I am then forced to pause in order to recompose myself!
Of course I have learnt certain techniques in order to combat these sensorial attacks, however to reveal them would be to leave myself unprotected! On the other hand, I will disclose that the answer lies somewhere in: An eye for eye, a tooth for a tooth!

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