Whether you like it or not, you have to talk to people. And as a business owner and entrepreneur, it’s essential that you talk to people, so you might as well get used to it and learn how to do it well.
Yes it’s true, some people are better conversationalists than others, however, it’s not a matter of being a better person or being smarter, it’s simply a matter of skill.
Some people seem to have an easier time with conversation than others. But for others it’s a difficult, challenging, and sometimes a scary thing to do, especially when it comes to talking to people they don’t know in an unfamiliar environment.
Even if a person has the gift of gab it doesn’t mean that they have great conversation skills. It just means that they can talk! Their only advantage is that they don’t have to overcome insecurity, intimidation or some of the other gut wrenching feelings their shy counterparts frequently experience.
If you’re naturally shy, networking can be an overwhelming experience and you may choose to avoid it altogether, which is just not a good thing for your business.
But there’s good news! You probably don’t have bad conversation habits to break so I bet you’ll get really good at it!
As I stated earlier, being a good conversationalist is a skill, and as with any skill you can learn it.
Here are 7 tips to make your conversations more comfortable and even enjoyable.
1. Make the other person the topic of conversation.
2. Ask questions you’re truly interested in hearing answered.
3. Keep the conversation relevant to what they’re talking about, don’t go off on a tangent (or you’ll kick yourself later for it).
4. Be yourself and be personable.
5. Find common interests, either personal or professional.
6. If the conversation shifts to talking about your business, share a client success story instead of your sales pitch; it’ll feel more authentic and comfortable for both of you.
7. If you connect with the person ask them for a business card so you can follow up (and follow up!)
And remember, it’s just a conversation with another person who either has the gift of gab and won’t stop talking anyhow (so you may have to practice the art of a graceful exit); or who is in the same boat as you, feeling a bit shy or intimated and you’ll be a breath of fresh air!
By following these easy steps you’ll find yourself feeling more comfortable and authentic with your conversation and people will remember you for it.
And that makes good business sense.