Discover More Success with Joe Girard’s Seven Simple “Extra Smileage” Rules
When the world’s greatest salesman, Joe Girard, was 17, he was set up on a blind date.
It was part of a double date with his friend and his girlfriend.
He had the normal apprehension …
What would she be like?
Would they hit it off?
How did he let himself get talked into this?
The night of the date, he drove with his friend to pick her up.
His friend honked the car horn. His date emerged from her house.
In Girard's words, she was "the ugliest girl in the history of the world."
He says his heart sank to around his socks. But then something happened.
When she got into the car and introduced herself, she lit the place up with a smile that in Girard's words was "simply terrific." In under a minute, Girard says, she became the most beautiful girl he had ever seen.
She smiled all evening. It came through in her eyes, voice, and personality.
Girard says he never had so much fun as he did on that blind date. He says it opened up his eyes to the power of a smile.
Smiling not only makes you more attractive and likable, but it can also help change your mood and draw people to you. Plus, studies have shown that smiles have significant health benefits, such as making your immune system work better and lowering stress.
And for writers marketing their services, prospects and clients are more likely to do business with someone who is smiling and in a good mood than someone whose mood suggests the sky is about to fall.
If your life could benefit from more smiles, what follows are Girard's seven simple rules to get "extra smileage" out of life:
- Smile when you don't feel like it. This is probably the toughest one to follow. The idea is that you smile even when you're moody and blue. Don't let others sense your troubles or that things aren't going your way. Girard says it's better if people think to themselves, "What has he or she got to smile about?" than "He or she has every right to wear a long face." In a nutshell, he says, "Whenever you don't feel like smiling is the time to smile the most."
- Share only your positive thoughts. A smile is contagious. Once you share your positivity, others catch the fever. Girard says to spread only good news. Don't talk about crime and violence. Talk only about positive things. Also, only do things that will bring joy to people, not depress them.
- Smile with your whole face. Don't restrict your smile to your lips only. Smile with your voice. Smile with your entire face. Put a twinkle in your eye and keep it there.
Turn the frown upside down. Girard talks about how salesman and author Frank Bettger tells the story in his book How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success of a young man whose early life had been full of sickness, hunger, and misfortune. He grew up to be a real grouch.
But the young man was smart enough to know that if he was going to be a success in life, he had to lose the sourpuss. If he was to put on a happy face, he knew he'd have to first take off his unhappy face. It wasn't going to be easy. He started each day with a 15-minute "smiling workout." He'd think of reasons to be thankful and to smile. Before long, it became a habit.
Bettger says, "You can cultivate happiness with a smile. Try it just for 30 days. Give every living soul you meet your best smile you ever smiled in your life, and see how much better you feel and look. It's one of the best ways to stop worrying and to start living."
- Exercise your sense of humor. Girard reminds us to try to see the humor in situations. Always smile and roll with it even when the joke is on you. And always smile with the other person, never at him or her in a way that suggests you are making fun of them.
- Smile out loud. What's better than a smile? A good hearty laugh, says Girard. A laugh is an out-loud smile, he says. Don't be afraid to turn your smiles into belly laughs. Nobody has ever been harmed by laughing too much.
- Don't say, "Cheese!" Say, "I like you!" The next time you're posing for a picture and the photographer asks you to say, "Cheese," suggest saying, "I like you," instead. Girard says it always gets a bigger smile than "Cheese." Girard loved the "I like you" phrase so much, he had big round lapel buttons made up that said, "I like you!" He'd hand them to people the first time they would come in to see him about buying a car. His prospects would look at the button and start to smile.
He had so much success with the "I like you" idea, whenever he gave a lecture, he'd bring two people up on stage and put a bag over each of their heads. He'd then ask the crowd whom they liked best.
The answer was usually, "Neither one," because without a facial expression, there was nothing to base their choice on. He'd then ask them to take the bags off their heads and for one to scowl and one to smile and say, "I like you," to the audience. Who won? The answer is obvious.
Girard admits it was a stunt. He did it because it was a good icebreaker for what he asked the audience to do next: turn to each other and say, "I like you." Smiles would instantly light up the room like the noonday sun on a clear summer's day. Girard says that saying, "I like you," is one of the easiest ways to bring a smile to people's faces.
Girard suggests that you put a sign where you can see it that says:
"I saw a man who didn't have a smile, so I gave him one."
And then when you see someone without a smile, be sure to give him yours.
When you put these seven "extra smileage" rules to work, Girard says, you'll be amazed at how much they help you sell yourself to other people.
The next time you are engaging with people, whether on the phone or face to face, try putting on a smile. You’ll find it can improve your confidence, help you make friends, and even give you the winning edge you need to succeed in your writing career.
The Professional Writers’ Alliance
At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »