Sunday, April 03, 2005

Talk With People; Not At Them

This post over at B2BHints by Ari Galper carries an important reminder for attorneys and accountants. Typically firm partners making calls to prospective clients do not have any scripts that they are working from choosing instead to 'shoot from the hip'. For many though this sort of conversation is terribly nerve-racking. We want to sound 'smart', and 'proper' and 'professional', but we often come off as stiff and uncomfortable.

If you were smart and savvy enough to become a partner at a firm... take a breather. You've already got what it takes. Relax. You don't have to keep 'proving' it. You got it.

When my son was in Little League I interacted with a lot of parents I'd never met. In the course of so many conversations with other Dad's, they would ask, "what sort of business do you run?" Mind you, these conversations where at ball fields and we're all wearing jeans and t-shirts and the like. I wasn't worried about making sure they knew I was good in my work. Yet somehow I carried the aura of my work and my worth.

Who we are shines brightest when we stop acting. Whenever I am calling someone that I've never spoken to before, and I would like for them to like me, I focus on my natural curiosity to know more about them. Whenever I do the conversations take on their own life and the calls are fun.

A good way to get yourself out of discomfort and into the spirit of being you is to write down five questions to ask the person your calling about them or their company that have nothing to with what you represent. THEN, make the call.