Not too long ago, I met a guy at one of my speaking events. We kind of hit it off, so I reached out to him to see if we could work together on a few things. During the course of our contact, he turned me on to another guy who holds seminars. I viewed this as a potential opportunity to network and see if I might be able to speak for him. So, I contacted him and we set up a phone appointment.
I am not exaggerating at all when I say that we were on the phone for over an hour. One hour and seventeen minutes, to be exact. Now, it isn’t like I’ve never had long phone conversations before, so the time itself wasn’t the problem. The problem was that out of those seventy-seven minutes of my life that I will never get back, the man on the other end of the phone spoke for a total of seventy-two of them. That’s right. Out of all that time, I talked for five minutes total.
This guy was working so hard to sell me on his program, which he hoped to accomplish by sharing every single detail he could in an effort to get me to buy into it. Sure, I could have ended the phone conversation earlier, I suppose. However, in an effort to be polite, and hoping it would be worth my time, I listened to what he had to say. To everything he had to say.
Now, I must admit, part of me thought about setting the phone down and walking away. Truly though, I don’t think he would have realized if I had. In fact, he would probably still be talking now, several days later, if that was the case. I could go back right this moment, pick the phone back up, and he would still be telling me about his program and why I should buy into it.
Once, I even made the grave mistake of asking him a question. Really? What on earth was I thinking? Of course, that gave him an even greater opportunity to continue on his monologue and keep going. And going. And going.
Realistically, this guy could have been giving me the winning lottery numbers and I still wouldn’t buy from him. His whole approach turned me off and made me feel as if he wasn’t interested in me. All he was interested in was himself and his product. In fact, he didn’t even follow up after our contact which, although it isn’t a smart business move, I am eternally grateful for.
I once heard a saying that we were born with one mouth and two ears for a reason. I couldn’t agree more, because if you talk and talk and talk and shove your agenda down other people’s throats, all you’re going to do is choke them. Then you aren’t likely to get what you want at all.
This is true whether you’re talking to a client, a networking partner, or anyone else in your field. In order to as effective as you can be, this requires spending more time listening than talking. It means asking questions about what the other person wants and listening in an attempt to learn what is important to them. Once you know this type of information, you will know how to best reach him or her, thus making your own approach more results-driven.
As for the man that I dealt with on the phone that day, he’s probably still talking. For your sake, I hope it’s not to you.