When meeting with a client, customer or potential prospect it is easy to fall into the “forget the rest, just impress” mentality. This type of attitude is common when meeting with someone you want to do business with. A conversation that is meant to build and strengthen trust, loyalty, brand awareness and a relationship suddenly turns into a “showcase” of how great you are.
Have you ever gone in for a job interview and noticed that the interviewer asks you some questions pertinent to your resume but mainly asks you about who you are, your goals, dreams and hobbies that bring meaning to your life? Yes, your resume is stellar, full of impressive facts, figures and data (which is what landed you the interview in the first place), but they want to know you, the real you; see your personality “off” paper.
The same goes for when you are meeting with important people in your day-to-day business life. Yes, you do have an impressive skill base full of facts, figures and data that would impress anyone, anytime. However, just like with interviews, people want to know the real you!
These types of conversations are relationship builders. A “talent show” display of your accomplishments will only keep you at surface level. If you want real, meaningful and powerful relationships you must master the art of conversation. Here are some basic techniques you can start implementing right now, wherever you are and with whomever your path crosses with today:
- Restrain your urge to impress others!
- Evaluate your conversations; do they help you and the other person?
- Allow the conversation to make you feel moved and fulfilled; leave the discussion feeling energized with the notion you will see that person again.
- Pause every 4-5 minutes to ask thoughtful questions, engage the other person allowing them to also ask questions and pose thoughts.
- Share relevant examples without causing a “turn over” of the conversation.
- Bring passion and emotion when speaking.
To many of you these tips seem basic, elementary at best, but you would be surprised how so many of us skip the “basic” art of conversation to dive right into our agenda. Human beings are intuitive and can see an agenda from a mile away. Set yourself apart, be genuine in your conversations, build unique and meaningful relationships and you’ll see how having “power” relationships can literally change the game completely.