Thursday, January 31, 2008

Lessons in building rapport - TSF

For the past month, our family has been dealing with some serious health issues with my mom. All kinds of new people have entered our lives - doctors, nurses, therapists, health care technicians, ambulance drivers - you name it.

I have been privileged to observe absolute masters of rapport building as I watch my parents interact with these folks. It is pure, it is kind and it is honest. My parents are the kind of people who just take a genuine interest in others. What an example they are. It matters not who the person is. It might even be someone on a short elevator ride. My folks just make it their business to get to know people. Between the first and the third floor of a hospital elevator - my dad had a great conversation with a man who was also a Veteran (my dad always wears his Korean War Vet cap). My mom never forgets to ask her home health nurse what her son's Boy Scout troop is doing this week. In a two mile ambulance ride, she was on a first name basis with the EMT who rode with her, knew where he lived and even which route he took to work each day.

No matter what speed bumps the road of life throws you - it is never bad to take a genuine interest in others.

So often at TSF we hear that you are having difficulties talking to strangers. It seems that when we join a direct sales business - somehow all of our normal people skills are forgotten. We get the feeling that we can't talk to anyone without feeling obliged to sell them product, book a party or recruit them and so, we get tongue tied and say nothing at all.

Does this sound like you? If it does, may I make a suggestion for you for the next several weeks? Try this exercise. Start talking to people again. Everywhere you go - just strike up conversations with strangers. Do your best to find out as much about them as you can. You will be AMAZED at what people tell you when you ask them questions about themselves. FAYC (FORGET ABOUT YOURSELF COMPLETELY). Just focus on THEM. Don't worry about talking about anything other than THEM.

The goal of this exercise is just to help you remember your people skills again. You CAN talk to strangers - you may have just temporarily forgotten how. This exercise will help build your confidence and re-teach you the fine art of LISTENING. Listening for needs is the key to true success in sales. So, give it a try - we would love to hear how this works for you

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