Creating your own small empire is a fantastic idea and one that can bring a number of awards, success, potentially fame and security. But getting from a small startup or even a medium sized business to the big leagues takes time, money and effort.
Fortunately there are several ways in which you can smooth this process along. The ability to convert your office small talk into smart conversation is an important skill to learn; it will help to grow your reputation and your business.
What Is Smart Conversation?
Small talk involves discussing things which people are unlikely to have a strong opinion about. This will prevent you from antagonizing people that you don’t really know.
In contrast a smart conversation can introduce them to your business and to the idea that they need your business or one of your products. Of course, it’s called smart because you don’t simply come out with what you do and expect them to want your product.
Let’s face it, in general small talk is used to fill an uncomfortably silence in a conversation. By learning how to turn this into smart conversation you’ll be making the most use of your time and potentially generating new business!
How To Convert Your Small Talk To Smart Conversation
Smart conversation simply means getting to know the person you are talking to and looking for what issues they have in life that you might be able to provide a solution to.
Instead of talking to people about yourself you need to employ the first rule of negotiation; listening. This is the only way you’ll find out more about the person you’re talking to and create a meaningful conversation as well as potentially a new customer.
2. Open Ended Questions
This means you need to ask them questions which are open ended and provoke a response. A good example of this is to ask what they did that day or perhaps how they ended up in their current line of work.
You’ll be surprised at how easily people talk about themselves when engaging in meaningful but not too personal questions.
3. Change Tact
Most people will provide an expected response to a question. A good example is when someone asks how you are. You will almost always say “Good!”
But if you change tact you can reply, “It’s not how I am that matters but how your alternative self views the subject.”
This might seem abstract but it will get the other person’s interest and you’ll start having a much more meaningful conversation.
The real trick to smart conversation is to engage with the person. At the end of the day, no matter how big your business you are simply selling yourself. If they leave the event or office smiling they are sure to remember you and this means you’re three quarters of the way to selling them a product.
As a bonus you’ll enjoy the conversation far more!