10 ways to have a better conversation

When your job hinges on how well you talk to people, you learn a lot about how to have conversations — and that most of us don’t converse very well.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.ted.com

Most people know this already, but don’t we all need reminders?

One of the things in my life is that I am always in a hurry and many years ago I learned the art of listening, but as time went on and the clock seemed to double at triple its speed, I became one of the those get to the point people. I often got to the point where I was using those 275 spare words a minute to think about how I was going to respond.

They say the worst people are sales people, but having been a Sales Manager and Past Vice President of SMEI for many years, I can tell you they are the losers, the bad sales people. One of my favorite writers on selling was Tom Hopkins, author of How to Master the Art of Selling Anything. Before he became a globally demanded speaker and trainer, he became independently wealthy in the real estate industry by listening.

I was in a car dealer’s yard recently, looking with my wife for a car to replace her perfectly good old faithful that she has had for what seems like decades. The car sales person had only been in the job for a week and prior to that he had worked his way up to sales pretty much from the janitor’s role.

What was interesting is that he only seemed to have mastered the art of the used car sales closes. He didn’t ask who was going to drive, he didn’t ask what the car was going to be used for, he went to, this is my first week and my boss and colleagues want me to sell lots of cars.

“If I can add a reversing mirror and extend the warranty, will you buy this car? Come inside where it’s cool, have a water and here.” He put a piece of paper down and took a few details from us, wrote a word on the top of the paper ‘OFFER’ and shut up.

In sales this is called the ‘pregnant pause’. I said to my wife, this is text book old school sales training. The problem was that he had left out the What, When, Where, Why, Who and How. He was totally focusing on his sales target. As a consequence we didn’t buy from him. He brought his boss over who had been in sales for years.

He shook our hands, asked a few questions and turned back to his sales rep ( a bit condescending to us, but clearly his years of experience and probably no longer enjoying his job) and said, these people are not going to buy from you today. This is what they want and rattled off exactly where we were at, from a bout 2 minutes of listening to us.

This video resonates with me, because I want t get back to the skilled listener that I used to be and remember that everyone has great stories and information, from the cleaner in the food-court to my two bosses and everyone in between. I used to be great at it, and as I have started honing these skills again and learning to be 100% present, I am really enjoying it and I feel that the people I am speaking with do too.

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About Luigi Cappel

Writer for hire, marketing consultant specialising in Location Based Services. Futurist and Public Speaker Auckland, New Zealand
This entry was posted in Business, Business Consultant, Communications, People and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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