LOL, EOD, BRB, TY, YW. These might be how we communicate in a text-, email- and social media-obsessed world, but they don’t make for high quality conversation—the type you need for strong, mutually beneficial and mutually profitable relationships.
Conversation is the bedrock of relationships. Without them, our relationships are devoid of substance. Unfortunately, we live in a world with more and more email and less and less talk. People don’t have the time—or believe it necessary to make the time—to have real conversations with one another. If you want to create truly beneficial relationships, stop emailing, walk away from the computer and connect with someone one-on-one via really great conversation.
Here are 4 more reasons for re-mastering the art conversation:
It’s an opportunity-making skill. Being a conversationalist can lead to great opportunities. Cross-selling new products to current clients is much more difficult via email. More often than not, opportunities are agreed upon by a client during a phone or in-person conversation. Life’s opportunities are sealed with conversation.
It’s a great way to invest in others. The act of listening—the other half of having a great conversation—shows people you care. Have you ever been around someone who just wants to listen, wants to hear all about your day or a recent trip? You might not encounter these people very often, but when you do, they really stand out. When you speak with prospects and listen to what they have to say, you’re showing you value them.
You don’t have to be the most outgoing person in the room. If you’ve been using your shyness or lack of eloquence as an excuse for relying too much on technology for your communications, now’s the time to stop. Being outgoing is not a requirement for participating in a great conversation. The only requirements are that you’re authentic and show that you value what the other person has to say.
It’s the best way to mend a broken relationship. There are some situations that should be handled only via an actual conversation. Mending a broken relationship is one of those situations. When there is an issue with a client, the best course of action is to have a conversation on the phone or in person—even if that conversation is an uncomfortable one.
If you’ve lost your appreciation for the art of conversation, it’s time to reopen that door. Behind it are stronger relationships, more opportunities and a more satisfying way of conducting business.
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