Now there will be some eagle eyed of you out there who will not miss the irony of this post, not only am I Southern but I am also a sales person and ex promotions manager. Due to my professional background I have spent the majority of my adult life glued to some form of communication device or social media. Far from being a technophobe I am an advocate for technological advancement and feel when used correctly social media can be an insanely powerful tool.
However, returning to being Southern. It is a common stereotype for Southerners to be rude and to not talk to each other, and there might be a bit of truth in it. There is a magic line somewhere around the Leeds area where miraculously people will start talking to each other on the train. The first time I experienced this was relatively shocking.
As we find more and more complex and convenient ways to communicate to one another, the affect ironically has caused us to regress in some of the simplest ways. Even in Newcastle, where I am currently based, home to some of the friendliest and approachable people on the planet; a true Geordie only loves three things more than talking: Shearer, Brown Ale and Gravy, I am seeing the modern age plight.
The progression of technology, mobile phones, texting, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and the thousands of other apps which are intended to keep us better connected and improve our social lives are in fact doing the opposite. It appears to me that people are loosing the ability to hold a conversation at whatever level. I count myself slightly out of this generation, who do not seem to be able to hold eye contact when talking to you and are glued to their phones in café, bars on the train. What is the point of leaving the comfort of your own home to sit with your friends and family only to spend the entire time on your phone?
The ability to hold a conversation is crucial for so many things in life, from your social interactions through to business. The strongest tool a sales person has is conversation, the ability to carefully listen to what your customers feel and need and to gain trust with helpful advice. When combined with a strategic selling methodology you literally can’t lose.
The next time you’re on a train, plane, bus or wherever sitting next to a stranger I have a challenge for you find out three personal facts about the person; what their Spouse/ partner/ significant other/ child’s name is, their favourite band, and what they are scared of. You will be surprised how easily you will gain their trust and how much information they share with you if you are genuinely interested. “Be interested, and you will be interesting”.
If you or your team would like to have business conversations with confidence check out our Selling at a Higher Level training sessions. For more information, don’t email me, come find me or pick up the phone, Lets Have A Conversation!!!!!
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