What is your opening question when you meet someone for the first time at a business networking event? Is it:
- What do you do for a living?
- What do you like to do when you are not working?
Question two gets big smiles and bright eyes! Question one gets short answers.
Going From Liked to Trusted
Focusing on the other person and learning their interests and hobbies is the basis for being liked. Once they like you, it becomes easy to gain their trust. Before long, you’ll also know what they do for a living.
Finding common interests is step two. When you talk about common topics such as hobbies, family, and where you grew up, you learn about the other person’s values and priorities. Engaging in common interests becomes easy.
When you find common interests with a qualified prospect, you move up their ladder and give yourself several touch points for follow-up. The ice is broken, and your conversations are 75% social and 25% business.
You Win When…
When your conversations with your qualified prospects are more social than business, you are likely to convert that prospect to a sale. When you do talk business, focus on items that build buyer confidence:
- Impacts on current pain points.
- Money-back guarantees and clear return and refund policies.
- Product demonstrations and testimonials.
- Consistent, value-added content sent at strategic points in the sales cycle.
- Don’t be a pest. Ask your prospect to tell you when to touch base next.
The key is to reduce buyer risk by adding value.
You Won’t Get There Unless…
When you are the buyer, it is very hard to differentiate vendors. In today’s competitive environment, most of us buy because of a relationship. That relationship is based on common interests. So, what do I do once I’ve established common interests?
Personalize Your Prospect’s Favorite Things
Whether it’s bowling or opera, it does not matter. As long as you and your qualified prospect share it in common. Capture that info in your CRM so you can:
- Personalize the messaging to include topics of interest.
- Invite the prospect to an event relating to common interests.
- Introduce others with similar interests.
- Automate 50% of your touch points so you are free to meet 1-on-1 with your most qualified prospects.
Since it often takes up to 12 touches to close a sale, using your common interests as part of your touch points is very powerful.
Some Great Books I’ve Read
Perhaps, you and I can connect on books, music, sports, and hobbies. Here are a few great books I’ve read. Please let me know if you’ve read them and what you think.
- The Great Alone – Kristen Hannah.
- The Women of Chateau Lafayette – Stephanie Dray.
- The Lost Wife – Alyson Richman.
Suggest books you like if you haven’t read these. My purpose is to share 3 great books and to illustrate how easy it is to find common interests.
Want to Talk Books, Music, Sports, or Other?