The Fine Art of Directed Conversation
Ever been to a party, a BBQ or a networking event, and everyone you spoke to talked about themselves? Some marketers are like that too. They’re so consumed with their BS that they have little or no interest in the real needs, wants and concerns of their prospects. Brian Tracy says this: “There’s a spotlight in every sales presentation. When it’s on your client you will make money; when it’s on you, you’re losing money.”
If you’re chatting to people on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, practice the fine art of conversation. Same comments apply in the offline world – phone and face to face contact. Marketers should also direct the conversation a little bit. If you don’t do that, you’ll be having pleasant chit chats with people, but not making any money.
So good conversation is about taking an interest in people and put their interests ahead of your own.That’s what good communication is all about. It astonishes me how many people struggle with this. Many are so self-centred that the very idea of taking an interest in others is a complete revelation to them. Don’t be that person.
Face to Face Conversation Tips
Whether in a social or business setting, face to face conversation offers terrific opportunities to build relationships and ultimately do some business. Here are some tips:
Strong But Not Dominant Handshake. Some people have a handshake like a limp piece of fish, while others use the hustler handshake with their hand twisting your hand to the horizontal position, so their hand is in the dominant position. Beware of these people! Whenever someone shakes my hand in that manner, I always twist their hand back to the vertical position which is where it belongs. This, of course, sends the person (invariably a guy) a non-verbal signal that I am not to be messed with.
Look ‘Em In the Eye. Steady eye contact is mandatory. But don’t overdo it. If you stare at the person, you’ll make them feel uncomfortable and they may form the conclusion that you’re weird! It’s ok to look away from time to time as long as it doesn’t appear that you have something to hide.
Don’t Stand Too Close. If you’re the sort of person who likes to get in people’s faces, don’t. It freaks people out and is not conducive to good conversation because it intimidates and unsettles them. Unless you have an intimate relationship with that person, help them relax by taking a step back, because – especially in the Anglo-Saxon world – people need plenty of space.
Smile. Even if you’re nervous try to look like you’re happy to be there. A smile is one of the best ways of doing that.
Start With a Feed In Question. The initial goal is to relax the person. The best way to do it is to ask non-threatening questions. In a networking environment, and assuming you’ve just met the person, try some of these questions:
- Have you been here before?
- Where do you live?
- What do you do you love to do when you’re not working?
- What’s your business?
- Are you happy with the way your business is going?
- What challenges are you having in your business?
- How can we help each other?
Phone Based Conversation Tips
Many of the techniques used in face to face conversations can be employed when talking to people on the phone. Certainly, you won’t have the advantages of touch and sight, but a well-modulated phone voice can work just fine. This is on the proviso that you maintain control of the conversation.
As with face to face conversations, you communicate by asking questions that demonstrate your interest in helping the prospect solve a problem. Please do not see this as an opportunity to interrogate people. You have to show genuine interest and ask your questionsns in a conversational way.
As with face to face conversations, you do it by asking questions that demonstrate your interest in helping the prospect solve a problem. Please do not see this as an opportunity to interrogate people. You have to show genuine interest which is why being good at making conversation is mandatory.
Over the last nine plus years, I’ve made more than 10,000 phone calls to leads. One of the big keys to my success was my ability to properly engage people and create a real connection that put them at ease and had them open up to me.
Text Based Conversation Tips
Text-based conversations on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook can work very well for your business. I’ve had excellent results, even though I’m a newcomer to this form of marketing. The techniques detailed here reflect the methods I use.
In fact, it is similar to real life conversations you would have with someone if he were standing opposite you. An advantage of text conversation is that you have an opportunity to clean up the grammar, remove the ‘ums and the ahs’, eliminate non-essential words, and make your messaging more pointed and potent.
Essentially text-based conversational techniques are similar to the real life conversations you would have with someone if he were standing opposite you.
How to Transition From Pleasant Chat to a Positive Business Outcome
This is a hard one to answer in a definitive way. Every situation is different, and every setting is different. For instance, if you meet people in a social setting it many not be appropriate to talk business. That said, if a business topic is broached, and you think it would be appropriate to follow them up at another time, do it. Make sure you ask them for their business card or contact details so you can follow them up later.
On the other hand, if you are chatting with someone on Facebook who is another marketer, the timeline between social chit chat and business dialogue is much shorter. In the vast majority of instances, I talk business on the first chat session with them. But take note – I usually don’t pitch them on my business or product straight away. Instead, I talk issues, concepts and problems – their problems in particular.
The name of the game is to find people who are in a ‘world of pain.’
Your Turn to Give Now
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Time to Comment!
What are your favorite ways to make conversation with people?
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