December 15th, 2014
There can be a lot of nervous energy and “anxiety flowing when people talk about what they do. We all want to make a good first impression, but selling ourselves to as many people as possible in a networking environment can actually produce the opposite effect. With everyone competing for “air space“, and wanting to get their “say” in, most people tune out!
In my book I use a saying…
When I focus on ME… I increase my anxiety
When I focus on YOU… I decrease my anxiety
This ties in with the simple wisdom of Franz Kafka about being “Quiet and still.” How? If you want people to be interested in you and what you represent, then don’t talk about you and what you represent! Let them talk about them and what they represent. You’ll soon know whether it’s worth introducing your solution or not. Doing so is calming and peaceful for the both of you.
Here’s how the principle works for me.
Upon introducing myself, I simply ask light-heartedly, “So how can I help you?”
Usually the response is a surprised, “I don’t know! How can you help me?’, to which I reply, “I’m not sure either, though if you’ll allow me a few questions I’m sure we can soon find out! For example…” and I ask a question.
A question I’ve found most powerful is, “What would you say are the three biggest challenges you have presently in your business?”
Listening intently to the response, I then ask more questions, most of them based on the answers I get. I also use most or all of the 7 different types of questions that I teach in my book and on my CD’s.
I then come to one of two conclusions; To end the dialogue because I know I cannot help them , or, suggest I might know of something that could help them and set a time to get together later.
I then move on to the next “listening opportunity“, and the next, and the next. A lot of people can be covered and qualified in a short space of time doing this.
And here’s something interesting. Very rarely do people ask me what I do! Do I mind? Not in the slightest! Why? After all, isn’t the objective to tell everyone about my business?
Not for me! The objective is to talk with as many people as possible to find out if they have any problems that I might be able to help them solve! And if they do, are they prepared to do anything about it. There is always time to follow up, recap what they told me and talk about solutions later.
Because it’s not about me, there is no anxiety or pressure. Asking questions among other things…
Extinguishes the energy of anxiety
Gets relevant information
Creates value in us and what we represent.
Is like sowing and planting seeds