I’ve recently been thinking about the complex nature of connecting with people. Have you noticed how there are some people that you just instantly connect with, you start talking and feel totally at ease, while other people you struggle to get through pleasantries? I’ve read multiple books that talk about different personality types, motivations, speaking styles, etc. But at the end of the day, in my opinion it all comes down to chemistry. So, can you make that chemistry? or it just something you either have or you don’t?
Now, I’m no expert, my wife will attest to that. I’m often a little introverted, a little stand offish, but once I get to know someone, we are typically friends for life. It doesn’t matter if it’s professional or personal. So what does it take to make that connection? Now there is an entire science of personality traits, introvert, extrovert, sensing, judging, etc… I can’t deny this plays a part, but doesn’t it have more to do with some commonalities? For those of you in sales, I’m sure you might be laughing at my naivete right now. It’s ok, I often laugh at myself too 🙂 But really, no matter who you are, or what you do, there are two things nearly everyone loves to talk about. Common experiences and themselves.
I’m working hard to improve my own communications skills, and every good book tells you that you need to be a good listener. Well, listening is harder than it seems, unless you can find genuine interest. Now for me, there is no faster way to build interest than to find something in common. It might be sports, music, children, or movies. But if you don’t find something in common, it will be incredibly difficult to ever build a real connection with anyone. So, can you find a commonality without playing 20 questions? I’m struggling with this myself. How can you get someone to open up about themselves without it sounding like the inquisition?
Of course, you can fake it, but let’s be honest, we all know when someone is faking it when we’re talking to them, and no real connection ever occurs. Listening helps, but the book I’m reading makes a great point about this. You have to listen with real interest, not a “what’s in it for me interest”, or “I have to remember all these details so I can bring them up later when I try to close the sale” interest. That internal radar we all have, will quickly light up and warn us that we’re just a prospect and there is no real connection .
So, what’s the solution… we need to make a real connection. But what’s the secret? My good friend Clint is amazing at this skill. I really believe he can walk up to any random person and find some obscure connection after talking to them for a few minutes. Sometimes its a hometown, old job, school, sporting event, or vacation. The key is finding a way to genuinely connect with the person and make yourself someone they can relate to. This won’t guarantee a sale, but it is pretty much guaranteed to kill any sale if you can’t connect with a prospect.
I guess the point of all of this is that you need to be truly interested in who you are talking to. Only then can you find that common ground, that magic chemistry. So make a friend first. Maybe they won’t be your best friend that you tell your deepest secrets to, but treat them as a friend first, not a prospect. We all know when someone is trying to sell us. I believe that connection chemistry can be built… just find that common ground and build from there.
Thanks for reading.As always, thanks for reading and don't forget to check out our SAP Service Management Products at my other company JaveLLin Solutions,