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Effective Leadership

10 Useful Tips to Let Your Conversations Do the Walking

good conversations tips

Are you tired of attending meetings that take you nowhere and give you sore feet?

Why not have better phone conversations in comfort at home or in the office, and find out if it is really worth your valuable time to meet first. Do your preliminary meeting over the phone and if the lead seems worthy of your full attention, then make a date. Here are some great tips for better conversations:

  1. In most cases – call in the morning when you are fresh. Set aside the same time each day and just do it! A good communicator will get 10% return i.e. One in ten calls will result in a meeting. A great communicator will get 20% and a star communicator will get 40%. The “power hour” of focusing on nothing but making the calls with no multi-tasking will reap great rewards. By mind-fully listening you will know if it is worth the effort to meet the potential customer.
  2. As Woody Allen said; “Life is 1% luck and 99% follow-up” – Once you have made that initial contact, you MUST follow-up and ask for “feedback”. If someone doesn’t respond or return emails, don’t take that as a No.
  3. No is only when you receive an email saying so or they have told you that over the phone – otherwise you keep pursuing. You must use your intuition to decide when and how often you contact. Use different platforms, phone, email, text or LinkedIn. We all lead very busy lives and often it is a case that someone does want to meet you… they just haven’t gotten around to contacting you.
  4. Don’t give up too soon – according to Jeffrey J. Fox, author of How to Become a Rainmaker, “Eighty percent of new sales get made after the fifth contact attempt, yet most sales people give up after the second call.“
  5. Don’t forget the power of a “thank you” – if someone has helped you along the way, always drop them an email of thanks.
  6. Know your company story – I often ask people why did you call your business XYZ? It is amazing how many people don’t know why. Be a good storyteller – this makes you an interesting person and most importantly “credible.” You know what you are selling.
  7. Create opportunities for conversation – do workshops, create a newsletter, give yourself excuses to call your leads to discuss different things. Send articles of interest. Show you care and you are thinking of them.
  8. Never take the Cheese off the Pizza – Jeffrey J Fox says, “When times are tough, don’t cheapen and worsen your product. Don’t cut your outreach to customers. When times are tough, you out-sell, out-promote, and out-advertise your competitor. You offer more, not less. And you never take the cheese off the pizza.”
  9. Do not start the conversation by saying, “How are you?” – it sounds insincere and usually causes the listener to become defensive. You don’t even know the person so why would you care how they are. Better to say, “Hi it’s Odile, Could you possibly help me or steer me in the right direction.”
  10. Use the word “open” Are you open to a meeting? Rather than the word “interested.” Most people consider themselves as open-minded. Use the word“feedback” and not follow-up. Requesting feedback is empowering the other person and suggesting you are keen to hear their opinion. Therefore, stroking their ego and making them feel positive about the request.

About the author

ODILE FALUDI

ODILE FALUDI

Odile is a passionate freelance writer and a business development consultant. She is trained in “Crucial Conversations” through VitalSmarts. They have helped 300 of the Fortune 500 realise significant results using a proven method for driving rapid, sustainable, and measurable change in behaviours.

Odile runs workshops in Sydney, Australia, teaching Business Development Managers, Start-up Entrepreneurs and Sales teams’ how to initiate client conversations. The aim is to widen their business net to make more money now and in the future. Request a course outline. Program available via SKYPE.

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