Great Conversations to Grow Your Business
A place where many complementary practitioners, therapists and coaches struggle is having sales conversations. These often feel sleazy and uncomfortable, but they don’t have to. Go back to basics and learn to have great conversations first and build relationships.
I’ve become increasingly aware of how often people speak across each other. They aren’t having a conversation, more like a shout fest where no one gets heard.
I know myself, there are times when I desperately want to share something and get side-tracked with my own thoughts rather than being present. There is a world of deep, rich and meaningful conversations waiting to be had, so this is an area I’ve been working on to improve for myself.
We sadly live in a culture where we just don’t listen to each other. Most of the time, we’re busy thinking about what we’re going to say next rather than participating fully in the conversation.
The human race is more divided than ever, and every topic has the potential to be controversial and spark an argument. We’ve reached a place where people talk to be heard and are not willing to listen or be open to other views and opinions.
By learning to have better conversations generally, it will help you build better connections and relationships for your business too. This skill is a brilliant way to help you to share your knowledge and ultimately make offers and sell your services in a way that feels good.
Rules for better conversations
There is a brilliant TedX Talk by Celeste Headless about how to have better conversations. She is a radio host, an expert interviewer and skilled in having great conversations. She suggests the key ingredients are honesty, brevity, clarity with a healthy amount of listening.
Celeste tells us to ignore what we’ve been taught to demonstrate we are listening to someone such as looking them in the eye, nodding and smiling. There is absolutely no reason to show you are paying attention if you are!
Instead, she suggests if you enter every conversation assuming you have something to learn and are prepared to be amazed, you will never be disappointed. She has come up with 10 rules to have better conversations:
1. Be present and completely in the moment giving the other person your full attention.
2. Don’t preach without wanting people to interact with you. Always assume you have something to learn too.
3. Ask open-ended questions and invite people to share their experience. Use questions starting with who, what, why, why or how.
4. Go with the flow and let go of thoughts that come into your mind. You will automatically stop listening if you want to talk, so wait and see where the conversation goes.
5. If you don’t know something, be honest and say you don’t know.
6. Don’t equate your experience to someone else’s, all experiences are individual. Allow people space to share their story without jumping in or comparing it with yours.
7. Try not to repeat yourself.
8. Don’t include every minute details, people don’t care about them.
9. LISTEN! This is the most important skill to develop.
10. Be brief!
Here is the talk:
Next time you find yourself jumping into a conversation, desperate to put your point across, take a minute to stop and be present. It will take practise, but you will get the hang of it and there is something quite refreshing about having these deeper, more meaningful conversations.
Using conversations in your marketing
Whilst when working with clients, you must listen to understand their needs. The art of listening and conversation are great skills to develop for your business and marketing too.
Using conversations for client research will help you to understand the specific language they use. You can take these words and weave them into your marketing to demonstrate you get them.
The art of great conversations will be priceless if you decide you want to interview people in your marketing activities. Being able to have a great conversation will be brilliant for both the participants and your audience.
If you struggle to get your marketing working and attract clients to your practice, contact me for a chat to explore how I can help you.
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