I am a legend at starting up conversations. It’s another part of my Thing. I’d forgotten how good I am at this until I helped a client out recently on their exhibition stand. I’d literally strike up a conversation with anyone and everyone who paused for more than 2 seconds in front of the stand–not in a grabby "Come buy our stuff" way, I must add, but in a "Hello, let’s start a conversation" way to see where it ended up. Some of the conversations took on all sorts of directions that couldn’t have been imagined by either party from the beginning.
My advice is to have conversations even when you don’t know where they’ll end up. Worse case: you’ll have a pleasant chat, best case: you might have a new customer.
When you remember that all Marketing is communication–saying the right thing to the right person at the right time–then you realise the power of conversations.
Now, of course the smart thing to do is to ‘set up’ the conversations so that they are more likely to be successful (in terms of connecting with a customer) by having them in the right place at the right time–an event, an exhibition, a networking meeting... that sort of thing. But don’t underestimate the ‘casual’ conversations you can have too. I’ve had conversations at children’s parties, at the gym and on trains that have led in different directions than I could have possibly imagined from the outset.
But if you don’t ‘have conversations’ then you’ll never know what opportunities are right in front of you. And by ONLY focusing on the ‘set up’ conversations you could well miss some very interesting chats and potential clients sitting right next to you.
Always be ready for a conversation about ‘what you do’ and ‘how you help’ you really cannot always know ‘exactly’ who you are talking to... and where that will go...
So while I used to get ‘told off’ for being talkative, turns out in business that’s no bad thing at all...
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