‘Every BIG opportunity starts with a small conversation’ – Jackie Jarvis
Observe anyone successful in sales, and you will see that they are good at the art of conversation. If you think that sounds easy, think again. Having engaging sales conversations takes a lot of skill and practice. The more we rely on social media for our interactions, the less face to face communication is practised, the less skilled we could be in danger of becoming. If your business relies on you to win clients, the better your conversations are, the more opportunities you are likely to uncover and more able you will be to make the most of them.
The 7 Ways to Make Your Conversations Great
- Don’t Get Stuck on Transmit. You might think you need the gift of the gab and can recall all the features and benefits of your service or product, but the truth is, good conversation is two way. It’s like a game of tennis – you hit the ball into the other person’s court, and they return something back. Like a record, if you get stuck on your own track you will leave the person cold, no matter what you say. The secret is to keep the other person involved by asking good questions, really listening to what they say and responding appropriately.
- Start with a Relaxed Informal Approach. It’s tempting try to immediately impress with the virtues of your product or service or your credentials, but don’t be in a hurry. Slow down, stay relaxed. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. They don’t want you to dive in and start selling to them. Make a simple, friendly remark or ask a question to get the ball rolling. Talk about what is going on in your immediate environment and find some common ground. Encourage a response and gently steer the conversation around to talk about something that will be useful to your ultimate discussion.
- Connect. It’s important to connect with the other person’s energy and pace. If they seem slow paced and calm, speak slowly and calmly. If they’re fast paced and loud, increase the energy and pace of your communication to match. Find some common ground as soon as you can. It might be something you both find funny, an opinion you share or something you both see as important. If you do this, they’ll feel you’re on their wavelength, and you’ll build a better, more instant rapport. The quicker you create a feeling of connection, the more likely the conversation is to flow.
- Be Interested. What makes this person tick? What is important to them? The more you understand where they are coming from, the better you will know how to guide the conversation. It is amazing what can spring from initial conversations when you show a genuine interest in what someone has to say. Your attention and genuine curiosity are more likely to gently open up the conversation and the relationship. You may also hear things that you can help with. What makes this person tick? What is important to them? The more you understand where they are coming from, the better you will know how to guide the conversation. It is amazing what can spring from initial conversations when you show a genuine interest in what someone has to say. Your attention and genuine curiosity are more likely to gently open up the conversation and the relationship. You may also hear things that you can help with.
- Tell Real Stories. Stories inspire and persuade, and do more to sell your product or service than facts and figures. They don’t need to be long, but they do need to be relevant and personal. A story about someone who had a similar problem that you helped, or a personal one, woven into a genuine conversation is a great way of sharing and showing what you can do in an inspiring, memorable way.
- Share your Passion and Your Values. Let the other person see your interest, passion and pleasure for what you do and how you help your clients. Demonstrating what you care about, and what you value, is the quickest way to form a connection, and worth a thousand words of sales pitch. Clients and customers will be more likely to resonate with them which will only serve to deepen the conversation.
- Be Yourself. Trust in the value of what you offer, so much so, that you can relax and just focus on the interesting person you are talking with. Know that you are enough, just as you are. You may be tempted try to behave in a way that you think you should, but people tend to notice incongruence or discomfort. When you’re open and at ease, you build people’s trust, and that is when relationships blossom. Realise that you are far more interesting to them when you are genuine.
Take the risk; it will be worth it.
Let Go of Stress and Sell the Natural Way
Jackie has created an online sales training programme that will teach you exactly how to prepare for and have engaging natural sales conversations.
Sign up for a complimentary introductory lesson and find out how this could help you.