Your life is what you create it to be!

Fortune is in the follow up, right? Who coined that phrase? We all use it, say it to our team, and sink our head in guilt when we know we didn’t follow up and lost that contact or business.
Why is following up with people so scary? Is it because you are afraid of no? Many of the times, people say they are NOT afraid of no. I know for myself, it can be just times where I don’t want to get on the phone. It requires a certain amount of high energy, conversation, and thought process that I’m guilty in just letting the cards land where they may.

Developing your system of sharing your business and following up with your contacts is critical in the growth of your success. Surely, you have seen many different systems to track these contacts. Many people use purchased systems, excel docs, notebooks, and even the index card file system. Whichever works for your brain, develop it and do it.
But how can you be better at actually following up with people without coming across like a stalker? We surely do not want to build that reputation where everyone scatters when they see us coming. Typically, you create this experience and reputation yourself.
Following up is expected. Think about a time you shopped around for a consultant or a contractor, and waited for them to follow back up with you on their proposal, and they never did. Typically, we don’t seek them out. We move on in our searches to find someone new who puts value in their business, their customer, and has a great professional demeanor about them. It’s just good business and practice to follow through and follow up.

You need to create the expectation and the appointment of when you will be following up with your contact following your conversation or sharing the details of your opportunity.
Throwing the ball in their court and never setting back up for the return is like throwing the ball down a dark endless well. It’s not coming back and you then become a stalker periodically sending messages on their facebook wall, texting them, trying to pass them in the hall so you can causally “bring it up”.

Set the appointment up at the end of your initial conversation. It’s just what we do, without thinking about it.
In our everyday practices, we do this without thinking it’s a scheme, a stalker, or a nuisance.

  • You get your hair done, you pay and set up your next appointment (cha-ching- future business for them)
  • You go to the chiropractor, and set up your next appointment or appointments (cha-ching- future business for them)
  • You get a babysitter, call it a night and pay her. On the way out, give her the next timeframe you will be scheduling her. (cha-ching- future business for them)
  • You have your housekeeper come, you send them on their way scheduling the next cleaning appointment. (cha-ching- future business for them)

I can go on, but it happens without you even thinking about it, and it is expected.
So carry this over in your business. Get in the habit with every business transaction, presentation, or direction you have with your contact, leave the conversation with a scheduled follow up appointment time.
It’s your follow up “massage” appointment. Don’t miss it! 😉

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I have a bad habit of working on projects until late in the night when everyone is asleep. Then I finish the night curled up in my favorite spot on the couch watching my DVR until I drift asleep. Wake up, rewind the show I fell asleep on….wake up, rewind the show I fell asleep on…..wake up, give up and stumble into the bedroom.
I have a firm rule that when I stumble in the bedroom, my husband is not allowed to go to the bathroom or talk to me. I additionally avoid turning any lights on or doing anything that requires bright eyes or a brain cell. I just wanna fall into bed in my very drifty mindset so I can quickly fall to sleep.

It doesn’t always work this way though. Last night was one of those occasions.
I did my usual routine of fall asleep, rewind, fall asleep, rewind. It’s 2am as I arrive into bed. But this night was one of “those” nights. My brain just wouldn’t shut off. The mental light went on, and my task list was rolling through my head, hard.
I start freaking out as I have so many obligations and little details that need to be remembered and taken care of for so many different upcoming events I am running/planning. My head starts spinning around the upcoming fitness conference I’m presenting at this weekend. The meeting I’m putting together for over 1000 people in my business heading to Vegas, and trying to remember little details for the presenters, topics, events, and so on. The items I have to order for the newly created back yard pool extravaganza. And to also not forget to send thank you cards, wedding gifts, communion gifts- spinning, spinning, swirling. Eye peaks open at the clock that shines on the ceiling, 2:38am. No, no, no! Stop it. There’s nothing you can do about it now. Just close your eyes, focus on this little blue flame and clear your thoughts.

“This would be a great blog entry! I could give them some ideas on how to get past thinking of your to-do list….”

STOP IT, you are doing it again! Thinking of what you can do tomorrow.

Honestly, I can go on. This is a struggle for many and me sometimes, thankfully.

It’s challenging to just let go and give in to sleep when you feel stressed, responsible, and have so many things going on.

I just wanted to share with you that it happens to many, and here are some recommended techniques to get passed this when it does happen.

1) Establish a regular bedtime time and try to stay consistent
2) Avoid Intense Exercise less than 3 hours before bedtime
30 Avoid Caffeine in the evening
4) Avoid Alcohol in the evening
5) Wind down! Find something that calms you (reading, meditating, listen to music)
6) Keep a notepad by the bed, and exhaust your thoughts prior to closing your eyes
7) Keep a cool room
8) Avoid Taking Naps in the Daytime
9) Avoid Bright Lights
10) Re-direct your thoughts to a simple activity or point.

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Building your business is scary, especially in the business. You want to make your investment a HUGE success immediately! YOU love the product, the people, the mission, the company, and you can’t wait to share it! But the problem starts to reveal itself quickly! You don’t understand why your business may not be growing. Why do people show interest then disappear? One of the biggest challenges in starting your business is building confidence. Having a strong self and level of confidence in what you do know will carry more weight in trying to learn everything about the company and trying to explain it all to your contact.

You don’t need to know everything about the company. Period.

Think of when you started a new job. The BIG one, the one you first got out of college, the one where it’s your “career”. That first day, that first week, that first month; were you required to be an expert? To have all the systems down? To know everyone’s name and their job title and description? To have all the products memorized, know the ingredients or how it was made? Obviously, the answer is, no! If your employer expected this of you, they surely are not doing a great job with being a leader in management position.
Wasn’t it funny when you finally discovered that bathroom that was just around the corner, super close to you, when you had been walking clear across the building as that was the only bathroom you knew? Or how easy it was when you figured out how to finally use the client database when it was like a foreign language to you at the start?

Why am I bringing this up? Because I’d like for you to feel what you should feel when you start something new. You can’t know it all, and you won’t know where all the bathrooms are I.e: shortcuts.
So stop trying to be an expert, success, know it all. Just be confident in what you do know and what you are passionate about. Now, this leads me to the REAL topic at hand.

When speaking with someone about the possible option of joining your business, working with you, or buying this product, the choice of words you use tell the story. Wouldn’t you love to have your next conversation hidden camera video taped? You could learn so much! How your body language is. What you say. If you are confident. If you puke all over them with details and more details. If you even ask them a question or let them talk. If you know what their primary need or interest is.

Keep it simple. Stay confident in what you do know and what you are passionate about. The choice of words you use will bring up the feeling for result in the conversation. If you tend to speak with negative words, (it’s not this….you aren’t….you don’t have to that…it isn’t going to be…) you will create a wall and a negative feeling for the person you are speaking to.
You help them feel what you want them to feel all by the words you are choosing.

Nothing feels worse than the feeling of defending yourself or your business in a conversation. If you have moved the conversation into this direction, pause, and nicely end the conversation. You won’t ever be able to convince a negative nelly as well as someone who just doesn’t believe in your mission.

Keep it simple, keep it positive, and keep the conversation about them. It’s not about you.

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I recently hired a natural bodybuilder to set me up with a diet plan. As I get older, I find I have to tweak my nutrition plan to get the results I’m looking for. I typically do not stay lean all the time and have to lean out for certain events or video filming. So in this occasion, I was curious on how my body would react with something specifically structured for me.
The diet plan was pretty bodybuilder basic 101. He had me eating 6 small meals a day and drinking at least 150 oz of water.

I was getting results, slowly but surely. But then my body hit a stall. The weight wasn’t moving for 3-4 days and I didn’t look any different either. The problem lies in my serving sizes. I wasn’t measuring, just eyeballing. Hey, I’m a fitness professional, I know what 4oz is. I can figure this out. I THOUGHT my husband threw out my manual scale when we moved from NY to TX. He always hated that thing. I went searching for it again deep in the cabinets, and found it!

To my surprise and madness, I was overeating on serving sizes! Sometimes 3-4 times the amount! Pictured here I was suppose to eat 2.5 oz Chicken and 3 oz Yam. As you can see my “guessing plate” and the “measured plate” on how I was way off!

So many of my meals throughout the day consisted of having 1oz of peanuts with the meals. Well, boy do I love peanuts! And the daily increase of an extra peanut or 10 surely made a difference when you times that by multiple meals in a day! No wonder I wasn’t losing weight! Even an extra couple hundred calories a day can make all the difference. Here was another one of my meals and how off I was:

So what does this all mean? YES, weighing and measuring is THAT important for your weightloss success! Even a fitness professional like myself can get it wrong. Invest in a digital scale (btw, I did throw out my manual cheap one after I bought a digital). It will seriously make all the difference in your hard efforts. By delaying measuring, is only delaying the success of your efforts and hard work.

How old is your baby? Well if you are like me after having a baby, there’s only a certain amount of time that passes before you feel embarrassed or silly saying, “I just had a baby” as your excuse as to why you are out of shape. It’s been said that it takes your body at least 1 year to be back to “normal” after having a baby. But, there are so many factors that decide what your shape will be. For me, I worked my butt off to get the weight off without compromising “supply” for nursing. That meant I couldn’t restrict my calories so aggressively to strip the fat off as fast as I would want. And let’s be honest here people, there is that slight mental advantage where you do allow for indulgences as you have that excuse for being out of shape, right?

But sometimes you just have to face it, take control, and get yourself back to healthy with no more excuses.
So what is the best way to lose the baby fat? And FAST! I mean I need it gone next week! Right? I know, I’ve been there! Assuming you have checked with your doctor and are in the clear to go for it, it can be a huge variable depending on your situation. But in general, it’s all trial and error in figuring out how to lose the weight.

I always get asked for help from people to lose weight. It’s a loaded question- because there are so many variables. Also, honesty is something some people don’t want to honestly admit all the time how they may not be living up to their end of the deal on exercise, or their diet is all over the board, or how they think a “this won’t hurt” bite of that won’t hurt their efforts. Well, it does.
As we get older, I tend to find that what worked for me last year, may not work exactly this year. General problems that people come across is they put so much ‘weight’ into the exercise portion of their results. Yes, exercise IS important, but I have seen many bodies come my way who exercise all the time, and they still look the same. The topic of your choice of exercise, is a WHOLE other topic. General rule and guideline we’ll go with right now, is to make sure you are exercising 5-6 times a week, both weight resistance and cardio.

When it comes to really transforming your body, your results are mostly dependent on what you do with your nutrition. You can try and take any fatloss pill to accelerate or stimulate fatloss, but that still doesn’t work if your nutrition is a mess.

TRUTHS
-YES, “that” will derail your efforts! – We nibble extra calories all the time and don’t think they add up, but seriously just having a couple hundred calories each day, adds up. Not to mention the off the wagon of blowing this day may play on your mind as you binge on all the goodies you have wanted because you will start again Monday.

– Water IS important! Generally try to get about 80-100oz a day.

 It IS important to measure! Get the measuring spoons, cups, and scale out because you will be amazed at what an actual serving is!

MY SUGGESTED/RECOMMENDED GUIDELINES:
1) Figure out what your daily caloric intake should be for a low activity day.This is the lowest amount of calories you will eat per day, and no, it’s not 1200 calories for everyone.
*Average a couple hundred extra calories on top of your low calorie range, and eat that amount about every 3-4 days in rotation.

2) Suggest dividing up 5-6 mini meals. Get away from calling them 3 meals and a snack. The brain will work more efficiently if you can keep it easier to count. Suggest keeping your mini-meals about the same amount of calories each time you eat.

3) Be sure to pair up your food with a carb/protein/fat almost every meal you eat. Generally have your starchy carbs in your morning meals and have your fibrous carbs in your afternoon/evening meals. Be sure to keep good fats in your diet and sometimes in each meal. Be careful to not have too much of a serving of the fats when you do, use your caloric range on each meal to guide you on how much.

4) If you stay up late, then you need to eat! If you are a night owl, gage that your last meal should be about 3 hours before bedtime. If you go to bed at 1am, then yes, you can eat at 10pm. Be sure to choose a fibrous carb and protein in this time. Or straight protein works well here too. If you aren’t sure what to have, go basic with greens and lean meat. Or you can make it easy and fix a protein shake.

These are some basic guidelines and the mistakes people tend to make when looking to lose the weight.
Important to get your vitamins, Omega’s, and suggest CLL.

I’m not a nutritionist, just a fitness professional. Just sharing what I have learned along the way.

Call it what you want, but prospecting is specifically thinking about sharing your business with someone else. The dictionary’s definition: pros·pect (prspkt)
n. – a. A potential customer, client, or purchaser.

You will have a greater success rate in building your direct marketing or network marketing business if you focus simply, on keeping it simple.
In everything in life, we become very familiar with things we are passionate about. We become very excited and can’t wait to tell the world so they too can become just as excited and join the excitement bubble we have for that particular product, service, or opportunity.
When working to build your business and the daily action of putting your opportunity, product, or service specifically in front of someone you feel should check it out too, it can become a dangerous line between sharing too much information.

It’s easy to confuse people as well as to talk them right out of even checking it out. Less IS More! Be excited! Make them make their own decision on taking that next step further to see if this is something they are interested in. Below are three top tips to follow when sharing your opportunity with a prospect.

1) BE EXCITED AND CONFIDENT! Speak with energy and confidence. Your facial expressions, body language, and vocal tone will be the first impression on this conversation. With whatever you are about to say, focus on these areas first.

2) BE EFFECTIVE IN KEEPING IT SIMPLE! No need to go into a long list of how to win this, make money here, this random person they don’t know is so successful, you get training here, you can do these home parties there, you can start challenges here, and you can win this award here…etc..you just confused the heck right out of them and made the decision for them. People are busy! If you are clear, concise, and simply just drop a seed so they can go develop that curiosity in your opportunity.

3) POINT THEM TO THE PRESENTATION/PRODUCT/SERVICES! Be clear in direction. Fumbling over your words speaks lack of confidence. Have a clear direction of what you want them to look further into. If it’s a video presentation of your business, know which one you like the best, and be consistent on sharing that. When it is a product, best practices is to have a sample on you to hand over.

In all of your prospecting experiences, be sure to set a clear time for them to check out what you want them to check out and a clear time as to when you will be following back up with them.
Following up is the biggest mistake direct marketers make. Consider it peace of mind! You know where this person stands and you are never left wondering if they checked it out, are they interested, as well as you get to leave the stalker label to the next guy.

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For most small-business owners, typically, the selling process is anything but easy and sometimes frightful! In fact, when it comes to promoting your product or service, many entrepreneurs struggle with any number of issues, including lack of confidence in themselves or their product, fear of failure/rejection and fear of closing the deal. On average, most new business owners fall quick and deep into the habit of advertising because our brains and our outside influences are so conditioned in doing so. Oddly enough, it’s a turn off! Put the shoe on the other foot and you will clearly see how turned off or how quick you are to hit the delete key on that incoming promo email, doesn’t matter who it came from, right? We just don’t want to be sold. There is a difference between advertising and marketing. The good news is experts say these fears and processes can be overcome with the proper attitude, training and practice.

First things first lets showcase some of the typical areas that may be holding you back in your business.

1) Nervous about making a Negative First Impression? You have complete control over this! It’s been said that first impressions are 50% of the getting to know you/like you process. Depending on where you are working to build your business, do as the Roman’s do, to a degree. People are attracted to other’s who look like them, dress like them, and act like them. If your audience is young vibrant early twenties women, you may want to wear the hot color now out and well put together outfits with accessories. You do not need to “act as a twenty year old” especially if you are no where near that age range. If your audience is a group of business professionals, look the part!

2) Scared of Rejection? Rejection actually can work in your favor. You’ve heard the saying, “Go for No.” this will actually force you to practice! Practicing where you can continuing to present your services, craft, or products for your audience will only make you better. Understanding the reasons behind a rejection can help you refine your product and presentation. Sometimes, the only way to beat that fear is to confront it. The more you do it the better you become at it, and less fear will be the result. Additionally, what you have may not be suited for everyone. Work with the people it is best suited for.

3) Are you Coming Across as Too Pushy? Focus more on having a conversation with someone than simply selling. Not every conversation has to move into you selling them what you have. But if the conversation does lead this way, learn the prospect’s needs and ask yourself if what you’re offering is of real value to that person. When you care about your prospective customer and develop a sense of trust, you’re more likely to make the sale. Business is about relationships, not who you can sell something to.

What’s the difference between advertising and marketing then? Easy, think about advertising. Shouldn’t be too hard, you are getting slammed with it everyday!
Advertising is the direct promotion of products and services to you. Sometimes in can be screamed in a mass promotion over and over again and on the most common level new business owners take, they personally send off “form” letters and canned conversations without finding out what the other person may need.
This of course allows people to move you into the white noise category and easily into the deleted email folder.

The best way to build your business is by marketing. You are a business, so own it! You provide service, products, and an opportunity for people. Just because you offer something that requires an exchange of money or commitment, doesn’t mean you are a slimy bad guy. You just need to find the right people that are looking for what you need. Again, you are a business. This is the way of the world, business is all around us. Services are being bought. Products are being purchased. How do you fall into being a success then? The biggest difference will be your interest in who you are speaking with. It’s not what’s in it for you, but what’s in it for them. Discover their needs and how you may be able to help support that need for a solution. Specifically creating a bigger social network allows you to speak more and more to people without intention. Once you have learned this skill, it really opens the door for attraction marketing; that’s a whole other story!

The New Year is approaching and you may be thinking of New Year’s resolutions. On average, the success rate on follow through it quite low. So instead, start thinking about where you are now and where you want to be. You still will be making a plan of action, but don’t call it a “resolution”. Set measurable and achievable goals to get on track and keep on track.

Plan – then take action to make it happen!

Don’t you find that it’s easy to sit down and make the plan of action, but then implementing and following through each day, you start to lose steam or have “make up task” days?

Written goals provide you clarity of direction that set you, your business, and your movement towards your goals up for success. But, it’s your commitment to take action and to keep following through to actually make things happen. One of the biggest areas where people de-rail their efforts they wrote down on paper, is setting to LARGE of a goal or task item to-do list each day. Best advice, is to break it up!! Big pie in the sky dream goals are good to have for the upcoming year, but break it down to week by week, and then day by day to-do list. General rule of thumb, is to create a TOP 3 list each day, and do that no matter what!! They all don’t have to be extensive and elaborate, but just a step in motion moving forward.

You may know where you want to go but realistically, without taking time out to make a written plan or map of how to get there, you are losing valuable time to actually reach it!

Below are my TOP tips on making a plan of action and to-do list that will actually have you feeling successful as opposed to as a guilty failure.

1) Make your plan something you want to do!
Too many times people make a list of what they SHOULD be doing because someone else says they should or they think that is the right thing to do. Define, what you are most passionate about, what you are most talented in, and set the plan to focus more on tasks that involve those things. You will be more likely to follow through.

2) Pick Something You Can Do Easily
Ask yourself if your plan is realistic and achievable for you right now. Evaluate realistically where your current obligations are in your life, and how your new action items can fit in for success. If you think it’s going to be too hard to stick to your plan, change it so that you’re likely to succeed.

3) Be Action-Specific
Specify exactly what is it that you’re going to do. Measurable action goals are a way for you to actively keep working on them in motion. You feel yourself doing and completing it as opposed to a wish list of “I’m gonna”. Set your action goals with measurable notches.

4) Set Measurable Goals
Defining a goal without a mark of deadline, quantity, or risk is still a wish list. There is no gage or mark of achievement. Be specific with your goals when you have them broken down in years, months, and days. For example, in business you may have a monthly goal to sign up 10 new customers. Breaking that down even further into the weeks will help you keep a measurable rate as the month nears it’s end. So your goal for the week may be to speak with 20 people. We all know the law of averages with success rates. If your goal is 10 new customers a month, you surely need to speak with almost 100 people to nail that goal as achieved.
If you have a goal each week of 20 people, then now break it down to your working days, and how many people will you be speaking with on those days to ensure you at least hit your 20 per week.
Weight loss works the same way. You may have 50 lbs you want to lose, but you can’t say at the start, I’m losing 50 lbs. You have to break it down into what will you achieve that month and that week etc.

5) Celebrate and Evaluate
Celebrate and recognize your achievements no matter how small they are! It’s forward progress in reaching your goals!
A strong tip I have suggested to many of my team through the years is to create a note book log. Record what action items, steps, programs etc.. you did during the measurable timeframe. Write down what you didn’t feel went well or was good effective use of your time as well as write down how you can really improve and do things differently or even better next time.

It’s easy to say you will be a huge success, you will lose 50 lbs, you will make the highest award level you can achieve. But, when it comes right down to it, your goal setting, you to-do lists, your action, your commitment and confidence, and your follow through will prove you got what it takes.

How to Start Conversations

When you come from a place of genuine interest and warmth, almost anything you say will be well received and appreciated. What you actually say doesn’t have to be clever, how knowledgable you are, or how much you can “save” them will actually create alienation and a loss of connection. People appreciate others showing genuine interest, and everyone appreciates and treasures those moments when we drop our “presentations” and become authentic.

Conversation and small talk isn’t easy and natural for everyone, but it’s a skill that can be learned. The more you practice, obviously, the easier and more spontaneous it will become. A tip to start “training” yourself to be better at it, is to put yourself in a non threatening comfortable situation. This will mean different things for each of you as some of you might be a very comfortable parent chatting on the sidelines to other parents, while others may be very comfortable walking up to someone to help them in the grocery store. You can easily start by making small talk with the clerks where you shop and the waiters/waitresses when you are out for a meal or even your morning coffee. Oddly enough, this tip may be VERY helpful…..Practice with telephone solicitors! Why? Because it will challenge you to keep the conversation going with asking leading questions and the caller will stay on the line for obvious reasons!

Initiating a conversation with a stranger might not be easy, but we can’t let fear or our anxieties run our lives and keep us from growing. You only grow when you put yourself in challenge uncomfortable positions, and learn some lessons along the way. Additionally, you never know what kind of day the other person may be having, and just your friendly banter may brighten their day or even make them smile. Others may even be flattered! In general, we all love to be noticed and appreciated for our efforts.

So what do you say? It really doesn’t matter as long as you say something. Start be getting comfortable with opening the door for communication with a simple SMILE and a warm “Hi,” “Hello,” “How are you?” or “Good morning,” and see what happens! If you know the person’s name or something about them say, “Hi, Nancy. How are you doing?” or “Hey, how is potty training that new dog of yours?” the next step is VERY important, Listen and respond appropriately. Some people need that nudge to keep the fire of communicating going. You may need to drive the conversation a bit. Always pay attention to body language though. If someone is darting their eyes, pulling away from you, seems rushed, let the conversation close. You may find some of your conversations may be a bit out from left field while others open a whole new world of things in common and the conversation can go on and on. Additionally, some conversations you wish you never started and others might be the high point of your day. It’s all a lesson, and sometimes a risk we have to take on opening the lines of communication.

What you really want to get into the habit of doing is asking open-ended questions as opposed to yes/no questions. If the person can respond with either a yes or a no, that’s not a good question you should ask. Again people always like to be complimented or feel of value. Starting with a compliment or asking for their opinion even on something you may be an expert about, will open up for a back and forth dialogue. It gives other people the permission and opportunity to talk. You may need to memorize some cliche open-ended questions that can be used as ice breakers in different social settings. At a party you might ask how they know the people who are throwing the party. Or at the grocery store, you may ask for some help on picking out the best beef for your stew. You can even ask for directions or recommendations to some great local restaurants or shopping areas. (even if you know them all!)

One of the best tips to finding out someone’s name is to introduce yourself first or introduce someone else in your party so they can offer up their name to them. People always value the sound of their name, especially when someone else remembers it. So at the close of the conversation, if you have completely forgotten their name, don’t be ashamed in asking for it again. If it’s a name that warrants spelling, ask them how they spell it.

The only way you will get better at socializing and communicating is to get out there and do it! Follow me on Facebook for more free advice, tips, motivation and training! http://tinyurl.com/christinedwyer

IT’S NEVER ABOUT WHAT YOU SAY, IT’S ALWAYS HOW YOU COMMUNICATE IT.

Conversations occur constantly in every area of your day-to-day life. Sometimes we don’t even notice how many interactions or conversations we had by the days end, but they are happening. What may start out as workplace small talk could potentially become a huge step and growth in your career or even a new opportunity.
When promoting your services or business, a higher level of professionalism may be expected. So being authentic and genuine should be your number one skill but also having a balance of being forthright and directive.

While we can’ t have every possible interaction or conversation you may have or encounter, here are some key points as you look to polish your interpersonal and communication skills and, at the same time, become more authentic in your delivery.

1) Get more information before making a statement. Don’t jump in too fast with your “I know for a facts” and Statements to prove their point is incorrect. Careful not to jump to conclusions. Pause, and ask another question to either get more information for a full understanding of their position or to have them expand so you can gain more understanding.

2) Keep everyone focused on the point, goal and intention. Create common ground on which to share your perspective. This will help people maintain understanding, stay on point with the topic, and to not hit any “hot buttons” that may turn the conversation into a spiraling combustion!

3) Be sure to inquire more than advocate for your position or view!Many times conversations can steer into the wrong direction, or completely in a way you didn’t have planned. Many of the times this can happen if you take a strong stance advocating your position rather than taking the time to ask questions and to see their position or their needs. Stay humble. You may be right, but right in your own mind. There’s always two sides of the coin.

4) Lay it on the Line. Be REAL and authentic! Telling people that you are new, you don’t know all the details yet, you are a work in progress, etc..only shows your authenticity. Honesty shows you are humble, and the conversation will allow people to connect more with you when you come across “human”.

5) Develop a reputation of being a good listener. Be careful to not jump in with the “me too’s” or “you gotta hear when this happened to me”. People are interested in one major person when speaking, and it’s always themselves. To develop better relationships with your clients or soon to be clients, bite your tongue. No need to jump in and fill every pause. Really listen to what they say and respond with a question which will develop and stem off of their previous statements.

6) Be a problem solver. You don’t always need to get a result, sale, or a paid service in your conversations. Listening to your customers needs, and being a problem helper or solver will create a strong bond and relationship. Your solution may not even be one that you can provide for them. Just be that person who is genuine and will recommend or help even if it doesn’t directly benefit you.

7) Develop your Small Talk. “Nice weather we’re having” can get old real fast. Start to develop your initial small talk more than the obvious. You can use your surroundings, kids, something in common, or a compliment. Everyone likes to feel valued. Even if you know everything in the area, maybe ask for their opinion, or suggestions, or advice on the situation. I.e.: Have you eaten at this restaurant before? What is the number one item I should not miss?

Developing your conversational skills is just that, a skill. To some people, it comes a lot easier. Even chatty Kathy’s aren’t always successful at this, just because they are outgoing and chatty. Having a point, directing the conversation with leading questions, and having a genuine interest in helping them in their needs will help you develop stronger relationships and a new following.

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