Each salesperson must master the art of small talk. When you are meeting leads and prospects for the first time, small talk might assist you to get the conversation going.
The most crucial aspect of the sales conversation is developing a rapport with your leads and clients. This calls for the ability to engage people in conversation and establish a personal connection.
However, what if you’re an introvert who dislikes social interaction? Although you would believe that it would be impossible for you, there are workarounds!
Here are three suggestions for assisting shy salespeople in making small talk.
What is small talk?
Small talk is a light, casual conversation you have with individuals you don’t know well to lighten the mood before bringing up the subject you want to discuss. The economy, current events, family, and the weather are frequent topics of small chat.
How to make small talk in sales?
There are four techniques you can use to strike up a conversation in any setting.
Ask open-ended inquiries first. The majority of us prefer talking about ourselves since not only are we our favourite subjects, but it’s also simpler to talk about something we know a lot about than something we don’t. Consider this: Would you find it more difficult to discuss your favourite book or glass blowing in the 14th century? Open-ended inquiries allow the other person to open up and produce a fascinating, lively dialogue.
Next, work on active listening. Although it can be easy to tune out occasionally, paying attention will help you build much stronger relationships. The other person will observe how absorbed you appear to be. Furthermore, if you’re not listening with one ear, it’s a lot simpler to ask pertinent questions and recall facts to bring up later.
Third, put your phone aside. Nothing will ruin your attempts at conversation more quickly than reaching for our phones when we’re feeling uneasy or awkward in public. Fewer people will approach you if you are scrolling through your phone, and anyone you are already speaking to will know that you are not interested in them.
Fourth, be enthusiastic. It’s possible that small conversation isn’t always the most stress-free pastime. You can truly have fun if you approach it with the appropriate mentality, though. Consider these discussions as chances to discover more about the other person. You never know who you’ll run into or what they’ll have to say, so be open to the possibility of a fantastic conversation.
What are the benefits of doing small talk in a sales conversation?
You can establish relationships with people in business through small conversations, which can also promote mutual trust. This holds for both clients and customers as well as coworkers or employees. The more trusted you are by your coworkers and employees, the more probable it is that they will want to work with you going forward. The more you can trust them, the more at ease you’ll feel about your team. To gain the client’s or customer’s repeat business, they must have faith in you to provide the experience they are paying for. It’s also advantageous for you if you can rely on them to return.
Create a positive work environment
You may establish a happy and successful work environment by engaging in small conversations. You can work together more effectively the more you know the people you work with. Because of our ability to work together, humans have controlled planet Earth. Not because of a collection of boxes on an org chart, cooperation occurs when people feel like they are part of a team. Small talk is a significant part of creating that social connection. Short talks about subjects unrelated to the task you’re doing help you and the other person bond in a way that makes longer, more goal-directed chats and requests go more smoothly.
Increase the learnings
Conversations allow you to discover more about the individuals you’re conversing with as well as occasionally about other facets of the wider world. Depending on who you’re speaking to, you might be able to learn more about a specific sector or speciality or come up with a fresh idea for your company. Be willing to engage in conversation to increase your general knowledge.
You can boost your chances of finding new business prospects by making small talk. The goal of business is to prosper and expand while leaving a lasting impression on your industry. Customers need to be heard and understood as people, not as numbers on a graph or as dollars in your books, to gain their confidence and friendship. Therefore, small chat offers chances to get to know and hear your clientele. One contact with the consumer can lead to them signing a contract with your organisation, or you might discover something new about them that you can utilise in future conversations. Being a seasoned small talker offers chances to enhance your company’s reputation.
Small talk ideas for an effective sales conversation
1. Ask about a non-controversial story
Finding common ground in non-partisan news can help break the ice during a cold call, even though this might seem impossible in the current political climate. Bring up a “feel-good” tale to start a conversation even if the person on the other end of the queue hasn’t heard the news to build that initial rapport.
For instance, the possibility of life on Mars is discussed in this New York Times article. You instantly show yourself as more than a salesperson when you bring up topics for small talk like this. This helps establish a sense of personhood that can be lost in digital interactions.
2. Ask about their weekend plans
Asking the person if they have any interesting plans is another way to start a conversation. The fact that you’re interacting over the same channel as robocalls is one of the drawbacks of cold calling. The ability to build even the appearance of a cordial relationship is crucial to converting sales because people are nowadays inherently wary of sales conversation.
3. Ask about their favourite restaurants and bars
Asking about the local eating scene is a terrific icebreaker if you are calling a representative from the company’s headquarters. If a salesperson were to remark, “I’ve thought about visiting Houston, do you have any restaurant recommendations?” for instance.
4. Connect on LinkedIn
People love talking about themselves, as we noted in the opening of this list. Connecting with someone on LinkedIn is a simple job that can help you start a natural conversation, such as by congratulating them on a recent honour or promotion. These kinds of compliments can transform a dull conversation into eager small talk.
5. Research the company and bring up recent news
Many people making cold calls overlook this step, even though it can seem clear to certain salesmen. For instance, expressing your congratulations on a recent sales goal achieved is a wonderful way to start a conversation with the manager of a branch office.
6. Raise specific questions about the company’s products or services
Knowing a company’s specific products and services is crucial if you want to position yourself as a resource for them when you contact them. For instance, you might inquire at a brewery about the many kinds of hops they use to produce various products.
After using these small-talk techniques, you’ll notice that more prospective clients and consumers will call you back to learn more. Without initially establishing a rapport with one of the prospects on our list of the top 6 small chat topics, salespeople in all sectors will not be able to make the sacred “second call,” which is a victory for them.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why is small talk important in sales?
When you are meeting leads and prospects for the first time, small talk might assist you to get the conversation going. The most crucial aspect of sales is developing a rapport with your leads and clients. This calls for the ability to engage people in conversation and establish a personal connection.
What are the don’ts in small talk?
- Don’t stare at the floor
- Don’t look over the other person’s shoulder
- Don’t keep using your phone
- Don’t be distracted and lose your attention
How long should small talk in a sales conversation last?
Most small conversation inquiries can be answered in five to ten minutes. Since non-verbal cues make up a significant portion of social communication, it is important to observe how the other person responds through their body language, tone of voice, etc.
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