The great writer and poet, Emily Post said,
Ideal conversation must be an exchange of thought, and not, as many of those who worry most about their shortcomings believe, an eloquent exhibition of wit or oratory."
Too often people are nervous and anxious when they attend a social function.
If you are in sales—which we all are—this can be a golden opportunity missed, because it's in social settings (or professional networking settings) where you may run across an ideal prospect who is "letting her hair down" and is open to what you do.
However, if you can't engage them in dialogue, the opportunity could be gone forever.
Fortunately for you this is a simple problem to resolve.
All you have to do to strike up a conversation with 100% of the general public in any situation whatsoever is just pay that person a sincere compliment and then sit back and listen.
It really is that simple.
Try it when you're standing in line at Starbucks.
Look at the person behind you and say something like,
- "I love that watch," or
- "Your perfume smells wonderful. What is it?" or
- "That's a nice jacket," or
- "That's a beautiful necklace," or
- "I love your glasses," or
- "That's a great belt."
Then listen as they say:
- "Oh. Thanks. I love this watch. I picked it up on sale..."
- "Why thank you. I've loved this perfume forever. My mom gets it for me every year for Christmas..."
- "Thanks. This thing keeps me warm in the worst of weather..."
- "Thank you. My ex-husband was a bum but he had great taste in jewelry!"
- "Hey. Thanks. I like your glasses, too. Don't tell anyone, but, they're not prescription!"
- "Thank you. I picked this up while in New York on business. I got it at half off..."
Then just let the conversation flow from there.
While there is no easy button in business, this is the closest thing to an easy button in life.
The more you can get people to open up, the more influence you'll have in business and in life, which matters, because you're either part of someone else's plan, or you're working your own plan.
Market like you mean it.
Now go sell something.