Talk to People, Not at People

You know that feeling when the doorbell rings in an early evening hour when you’re not expecting anybody. You wonder who it is as you reluctantly amble to the door, take a peek by the Venetian windows and see a young man in company attire waiting with his attitude betrayed on his face.

These days of summer has those window replacement companies scouting for customers on every possible neighborhood. The Houston summer sun is so unkind, that it makes great business sense to send out these happy deals to the prospects.

I almost moaned when I saw him. And that’s very normal, too, you’d say.

But when I opened the door, mainly to tell him through the storm door that I had no time to spare that evening, I almost stood transfixed. For the first time a smile from a salesman struck me deep. This young man smiled right from his soul as he introduced himself.

Within seconds, of course, as you may have imagined, I was out there talking to him with all enthusiasm and exchanging information.

Did I have the time for it? No. How come I managed to steal those minutes? His vivacious smile? His enthusiasm? Maybe.

As he was preparing to go to the next house, I thanked him. He was my son’s age and so I felt no embarrassment telling him that he was the best salesman I had ever seen. He smiles his smile again and said, “I like to talk to people, not at people.”

That is the key! That is the mantra. In every sales strategy, in every situation that needs to show how much your care, it’s the “talking to” that works. The “talking at” is the cold shower of words that make the listener feel like a stranger with woody limbs.

That “talking to” is my mantra. I look forward to knowing what my client’s prospects are thinking, what they are afraid of, and what they dream. And then I talk to them. Eyes contact, smiles come on, the music begins in the head.

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I, then, bond and share my story.

It comes naturally, like a gushing spring, a story for every situation, a story about people like you and me, our lives and emotions. Passionate stories that give hope and enthusiasm. Stories of faith and compassion. A hero’s journey through troubles, little and more.

The hero is not a character without a name. The story is not without its twists. They were real-life people like ourselves going through the twists and turns of life.

Before we know it, we bond, I whisper into their subconscious.

And in true style, I leave them asking for more.


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