Years ago, I went on a casual coffee date with a man I’d met on Match.com who talked non-stop the entire date.
Maybe he was nervous. Or maybe he was self-absorbed. Either way, I nodded along and gave a few well-placed laughs for good measure during the 74 minutes (yes, I was counting) it took us to get through this first time encounter. By the end, I knew practically everything about him and he didn’t even know what I did for a living.
Afterwards, guess who wanted to see who again? Well, let’s just say I was the one hitting “Ignore” on my phone when his name appeared.
Have you ever had a similar experience? Have you ever been on a first date where the other person talked non-stop the entire time? Your date barely took a bite of her food as she chronologically mapped out her entire life story since birth.
You thought it would just be a simple dinner date, but alas, there’s nothing simple about 30+ years of personal history being regurgitated right in front of you.
After the date, you’ll notice that your talkative companion had a really great time. She had a blast. Yet, you—the silent partner in this date—have no plans on booking a second one.
You didn’t feel a single spark, so why did your companion have such a great time? You could have replaced yourself with a large block of cheese and your date wouldn’t have noticed. Why would this person want to see you again? Why does she keep texting you for the love of god???
Here’s the answer—for most people, the ratio between the amount of time they talk in a conversation is directly related to the enjoyment they’re getting out of it.
MORE TALKING = MORE ENJOYMENT
Most people are dying to have anyone listen to them. This includes your clients, your referral partners, and anyone else you do business with. They desperately want to be heard.
To become the type of business owner that clients are magnetically drawn to, it’s up to YOU to be the listener.
Yep—that’s right—you have to get used to being that big block of cheese that just listens.
People aren’t drawn to the “me me me” self-absorbed talkers. Think about the last networking meeting you attended…everyone is trying to get away from these types of people. No one wants to get roped into a long conversation with someone who jabbers on about themselves or their business ad infinitum. Instead, most people want to talk to the listeners, because that’s when they get heard.
Becoming the person that clients are drawn to like a moth to a flame involves 5 simple steps.
- Listen. Don’t just half listen or partially listen. I mean, really truly listen to another person and hear what they’re saying.
- Ask questions. It’s not enough to just nod along…you have to ask questions. Be curious about what the other person says. Dig deeper.
- Listen more.
- Engage. Wait for the other person to ask about you and then engage with them, but just don’t turn the conversation on it’s head and make it all about you.
- Follow up. After your conversation, follow up. Check in with them. Send them a resource. Show that you were really, truly listening to them.
If you will become the person who adds value to the world by listening and being genuinely interested in other people, you will find that this is your ticket to developing trust, building strong relationships, influencing others, and skyrocketing your success.
SO START LISTENING UP.
Photo credit: Photo by Bob Mical https://www.flickr.com/photos/small_realm/ License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/