Making friends and creating solid and caring relationships are two of the BEST ways to keep your clients coming back again and again.
But what if you arenʼt naturally at ease with people?
Here are5 tips you need to know to hold great conversations, make a friend and bond with your clients.
Tip #1: Encourage people to talk about the subject that most interests them-you guessed it! Themselves!
Ask questions about them, seek their opinions and be authentic, not a fake. Donʼt judge, donʼt spar...simply seek to learn more about them, their interests, their hobbies, their children, and the list goes on and on. I often will ask, “Whatʼs your story?” if I am meeting a new person.
An article I read (by an FBI behavioral expert) said people get more enjoyment talking about themselves than about food or money! And I will add, people enjoy talking about their children more than almost any other topic!
Dale Carnegie, a great mind on this subject, states that a personʼs name is the sweetest sound they can hear.
Tip #2: Put your own opinions aside, especially if what the other party is saying contradicts your opinions.
Nothing shuts a conversation down like sparring about differing opinions. In our studio, we donʼt bring up certain topics that are sensitive and personal. Can you guess the top two? You have it-politics and religion. There is no winning if you start an argument and it sets a negative tone which is counter-productive, especially if I am doing a sale!
Tip #3: Be a good listener.
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and you really donʼt hear a thing they say because you are constantly thinking of what you want to say next?
Stop thinking about what youʼre going to say next and focus on what theyʼre saying right now.
Robin Dreeke of the FBI says this, ” Listening isnʼt shutting up. Listening is having nothing to say.
Thereʼs a difference there. If you just shut up, it means youʼre still thinking about what you wanted to say. Youʼre just not saying it.
The second that I think about my response, Iʼm half listening to what youʼre saying because I'm really waiting for the opportunity to tell you my story. What you do is this: as soon as you have that story or thought that you want to share, toss it. Consciously tell yourself, “I am not going to say it.” All you should be doing is asking yourself, “What idea or thought that they mentioned do I find fascinating and want to explore?”
Tip #4: Ask for advice.
We all face challenges in our lives. Talking about both the challenges that people are facing along with challenges you may be facing and then asking advice is a powerful way to engage people and build relationships.
Gone are the days of keeping a wall of separation between us and the clients. With all of the sharing done on social media, it seems very little is private anymore.
I am not saying spill your “guts,” but I think we all need to be a bit more vulnerable than we used to be. When you ask for advice, it must be sincere or you will fall flat on your face!
Tip #5: SMILE.
The number one thing is youʼve gotta smile. You absolutely have to smile. A smile is a great way to engender trust.
According to Ted Books, smiling gives the brain as much pleasure as 2000 bars of chocolate, or $25,000. Thatʼs a great reason in itself to smile.
When we answer our phone, we smile and it makes a difference both to ourselves and to the caller. A study from Penn State University found that people who smile appear to be more likable, courteous. and even competent.
This is reason enough to smile at every person you potentially want to have as a friend and a client.