The 5 Steps to Any Successful Conversation
William D. Hannam
Have you ever wondered why your thoughts and ideas never seem to make it to the ears of your target? Whether they are your friends, parents or even co-workers it often seems easier to get your point across to a complete stranger then to people close to you. Well in this article we will explore the steps it takes to a successful conversation. You can find more tools and information at mrblueprint.net including tools and ideas to be more successful.
The steps to every successful interaction, every conversation and idea, along with each and every business plan or sales pitch all start with this blueprint to communication. Once you understand these simple steps and apply them to everyday life, you will find that people are more receptive to your ideas and opinions, you will purchase and sell things at improved prices, and of course you will eliminate the miscommunication worry from your idea presentations.
There are five steps that are mandatory for every successful interaction. In each of these steps you will find the key variables that help people to be more agreeable and better understood in every interaction by fluently opening them up to the idea and closing within the window of open mindedness.
Step 1: Introduction
Everything starts with an introduction. This step is commonly confused with a mere introduction of oneself such as “Hi, I am Bob,” when in reality this step should be repeated at the start of every idea, new communication and phase of the conversation. There are a few forms of introduction which I will go into detail about after laying the blueprint out.
The introduction is used to ensure that you have someone’s attention and they are ready to be engaged by your idea. It is important that you not only hold their attention but also send positive signals that leave them at ease. Always introduce anything new, by nature people do not like to be surprised. By introducing each new element you can take the shock out of any conversation.
Your introduction should always be positive and always follow the S.E.E. Principles:
Smiles are universal to all cultures and recognized worldwide, it is one of the few universal symbols that change people on a biological level. What this means is that if people see a smile they are much more likely to form a smile, and therefore much more likely to form a positive reaction. Smiling is generally accepted as a signal that everything is all right or that the person smiling is interested in a peaceful interaction, the effects of a smile are so much that people can tell whether or not you are smiling even over the phone.
What does this mean for you? It is simple. By leading with a smile you are communicating positivity and enhancing the activity of the targeted person’s brainwaves. By doing so they are more receptive to your coming conversation and subconsciously will be more attentive throughout the period of engagement.
2. Eye contact
Steady and properly used eye contact is a powerful tool in any direct communication, looking the targeted person in the eyes while making the important points will build trust faster and more reliably than any gimmick or quirk. This will show confidence and build trust in your words; it also allows a phenomenon that creates a temporary bridge between two people. This bridge makes people more connected and makes emotion such as excitement, fear and anger felt more deeply by the engaged parties.
People give more eye contact to those who smile to them more often and whose eyes can be seen during conversation, keep this in mind as you work to improve eye contact in your every communication. Make eye contact with the person you are talking to at every important point.
Excitement is contagious. Be excited to get people excited about listening to your idea, if you are smiling and making eye contact then you have already opened the way for your excitement to pass and amplify in the people around you. If you aren’t excited about your idea, how can you expect anyone else to be?
Note that using general statements and not asking for any real decisions to be made is key, they are simply there to engage the new topic.
To summarize: Whether you are introducing yourself, your idea, or your product if you smile first you will create a universal bond, if you make eye contact with every important sentence you will build trust, and if you are excited to share this then they too will be prone to the same level of excitement.
Step 2: Short Story
The short story is just that, a short story consists of one or two lines that build a foundation to your idea and the curiosity of the intended party. This step is important because everyone is very busy nowadays. People want you to get straight to the point, if you don’t they will lose interest and stop listening. A good short story makes people excited about your offer and if you do it right, they will want to know more.
Ask Yes/Yes Questions
When delivering a short story it is important to phrase yourself in a way that leaves the phase with a positive. If you are going to ask a question, be sure that question is automatically warranting a yes or positive response.
To summarize: People are busy and constantly plagued with a multitude of things on their minds, in order to gain their attention and get what you are looking to achieve accomplished you will need to give them a desirable escape from their own problems. By smiling, forming a bond with eye contact and enthusiastically presented a small amount of information you are opening the door for a successful presentation.
Step 3: Presentation
The presentation is where you present your offer. This is when you sell it by promoting the benefits and by building impulse. The goal is to put the best details of your idea, plan or product on the table. If you do this well, your prospect will get interested in being a part of your plan, or partaking in your product, should he feel a need or a desire for it.
Present the most interesting parts by showing off the key features and benefits of your idea in a pre-designated demonstration. People remember the first and last thing they are told. Keep this in mind always start with a benefit and end your presentation with a stress towards why it is better to get/do it now as opposed to later.
If you are presenting something tangible, put it in their hands! Possession is an amazing thing; if you place something in someone’s hands they will feel better about it. On the reverse the thought of losing that same product as it is removed from possession instills a subconscious fear of loss that people find difficult to overcome.
Step 4: The Close
There are three things you should remember at this stage:
1. ABC, or Always Be Closing
If you don’t shoot, you don’t score. Regardless of whether you are pitching a product, selling an idea or just talking out your desires if you don’t ask for their positive input you won’t get it. So even if you think your idea/product is far-fetched, you should still ask the question; their answer may surprise you.
2. Close with Confidence
You have to be confident in yourself and in your offer if you want your prospect to buy from you, don’t be shy and do not hesitate. Confidently summarize your pitch and ask them what they think.
3. Assume They Want It
Assume that your prospect is interested. If they are not interested they will tell you, if they are, they are much more likely to buy from you if you assume that they will. Assume the sale by asking simple questions like: “I am only a few clicks away from this being all yours, are you ready?” “Shall we put this through for you or do you want to get some more items first? Do you want to pay cash for this?”
Even if it isn’t a sales pitch all conversations must have a closing statement. This summary benefits a wide range of scenarios. You can use this to drive a debated point home, encourage understanding of a subject. Instill a want to learn more about said subject, and build the foundation of future conversations.
“So you see, by taking a trip to the Grand Canyon instead of staying home this weekend we would be expanding our horizons, learning new things and it is a great opportunity for you to practice your photography. Can we go?”
Once you have pitched the close do not speak! Do not fidget. Calmly make eye contact, smile and wait. Their response should be done on their terms, in their own time after they have processed the information you laid out for them.
Step 5: Rehash
It is easiest to sway someone during and immediately after having swayed them once. Using this time to get the maximum effect from your conversation will give you unlimited opportunities to expand your results.
1. Pitch Multiples (2, 4, 6,)
Go for the Gusto. When pitching in multiples people think in different terms enabling them to consider purchasing or agreeing to more in one round of conversation.
2. Use Examples (Gifts, B-Days, Toys 4 Tots, Fire Houses, etc.)
Use examples of other people who have enjoyed the results or products.
3. Be Direct (Takes 30 Seconds, Cash, Check, or Charge!!)
This means do not skate around the ideas, rather be forward and put the brunt of the information on the front line.
4. Stress the Deal (Suggested Retail for X Amount – Today Half Price)
Explain why now is better than later. What is the benefit of doing this today?
This phase is also used to reassure the target of their decisions, people are less likely to back out of a decision that they feel good about. By reaffirming their decision for them at the end of the conversation they are able to think positively about it and less likely to spend time in regret or a worried state.
Using these simple steps in every interaction will improve your effectiveness and overall satisfaction with your regular communications.