If you’re looking to run any kind of business off-line then you will probably understand there is a definite way to approaching people and talking to them in sales situations.
If you’re shy you’re going to have a hard time, but you may have the advantage over the garrulous person who simply doesn’t know when to shut up! People are in a hurry these days and they like to get to the point quickly but they also need answers to their questions. That’s not to say that a small amount of the friendly conversation won’t help to promote you and your product or service, but too much talk can get a conversation totally off-track and kill a sale.
In network marketing talking on the phone can be even more difficult than speaking to somebody face-to-face because you’re doing it without reading the other’s body language. It’s pretty easy to tell when somebody is getting bored – they may tap their foot, fold their arms or start fidgeting and looking generally distracted. On the phone it’s best to be polite and get to the point, making the most effective use of your time, while respecting the time of the person you’re speaking to.
There are a number of ways to ruin your chances if you’re a network marketer when talking to people face-to-face. There is a time and place for everything they say, and when you talk about your products or opportunity the time and place must be appropriate. Don’t just pitch to everybody you meet. Imagine that the person you are with (even though you’ve never met them before) is your mother – treat your prospect politely and with respect. You would not go directly up to your mother after not seeing her for a week and start pitching your product; you would at least start with some small talk about how she is for example. Nobody wants to hear about your business, bear that in mind too, it’s going to take time to steer the conversation around and if it’s obvious the person is preoccupied with something else, don’t even go there.
If you’ve ever heard the term “elevator pitch”, this is an extremely precise and well worded pitch that you would use if you encountered somebody of influence for just a few minutes. This kind of pitch is used by screenwriters in the movie industry – they have to explain everything about the movie they’ve written in less than a couple of minutes or a couple of thousand words. The key to the elevator pitch is to be interesting, informative and precise. This means you have to understand everything about your product or service and your business completely and be convincing enough to generate interest from the other party. It’s not easy!
Conversation is a two-way street – someone talks, you listen, you say something, they listen. Unfortunately many people talk but never listen. Most people hate that, and it doesn’t take long before they realize you’re not in the slightest bit interested in them, only yourself. This is not the way to build relationships; in fact it’s a good way of getting people to avoid you!
Listening is as important as talking, especially to prospects. Anyone with any interest at all in your business is going to ask questions, so you must listen and be prepared to answer them. In Roget’s Thesaurus “conversation” and “exchange” are listed together, so there must always be give and take within any conversation.
Are you an old-fashioned off-line marketer? I’m sure if you’re successful you understand the power of conversation in a sales situation. Let us know if you have a particular method for breaking the ice and starting a successful conversation.