I read with interest an article in the Huffington Post this morning on how to talk to a grieving friend. Stay with me and you will see how this relates to sales.
I’ve been looking for studio space to purchase near my home in New Mexico. As an agent myself, I recognized the conversation example in the Huffington Post article because I have been on both ends and observed two agents having this exact conversation the other day.
“Mary: I’m so busy right now.
Tim: Me too. I’m totally overwhelmed. “
Why did Tim also state how busy and overwhelmed he was? We are sometimes consistently trying to turn the focus of a conversation back to us instead of simply letting people state what is going on with them.
In the book, The Pursuit of Attention: Power and Ego in Everyday Life by Charles Derber, he describes conversational narcissism as the key manifestation of the dominant attention-getting psychology in America. He writes, “It occurs in informal conversations among friends, family, and coworkers.”
Sometimes we just get excited when we feel there is common experience with a client, and we dive in and don’t allow them to be the hero of their story. How deflating to them when we make it all about us! Our mind races ahead, not truly listening but if they would just stop talking we could tell them our story! There is a reason it’s called conversational narcissism!
One of the best ways to keep the focus on the client is not to impulsively jump in with our experience, but take a breath and ask a “clean question”, instead of stepping all over their communication.
Try this on:
Mary: I think the price on this house is too high.
Tim: I can appreciate that, and so what’s next?
(Instead of inserting yourself into the conversation, or trying to justify, ask the question that will allow the client to talk, and perhaps let you really know what they want.)