Mastering Conversation: How to Talk to Anyone about Anything

Being able to connect with others is beneficial in any social setting. The ability to connect is even more important in sales when sometimes all it takes is an uplifting conversation to boost your credibility and make people want to give you their business. Everyone has a different conversation style, but following these general tips can help you succeed and connect during your next chat.

Listen

It’s common to want to fill the dead space in a conversation, which means you’re likely more focused on what you’ll say next instead of what the person you’re speaking with is saying. Thoughtfully listening to the person you’re talking with and not worrying about what you’ll say next will help the conversation flow naturally. You’ll likely learn more about the person, and if it’s a potential customer, the information you gain from listening could even help you make the sale.

Recognize Nonverbal Cues

Body language is a good indicator of how people are feeling. Is the person slouching, crossing their arms or avoiding eye contact? They may be uncomfortable or disinterested, indicating you should steer the conversation elsewhere. Learning more about body language and nonverbal cues can help you better decipher what others are thinking.

Avoid Making Snap Judgments

It’s easy to jump to conclusions about people when meeting them for the first time. If you let your quick judgements affect your interaction before listening to the person, you could start out on the wrong foot. This could affect your ability to close the sale if you’re talking with a potential customer. Listening carefully and picking up on nonverbal cues can help you avoid making judgements too soon.

Be Informed

Staying up to date on the news is a great way to make sure you have ample conversation starters. You don’t need to have a deep knowledge of the subject, but having a general idea of what is going on makes you seem informed and builds your credibility. If you’re speaking with potential customers, keeping up with trucking industry news indicates you are knowledgeable and creates trust with your target audience.

Build Rapport But Don’t Overshare

Building rapport is crucial before you can ask people about their needs and offer your help. If you’re speaking with a potential customer, keep in mind people buy from people they like. Sharing too much about yourself can be off-putting and cause people to tune you out. Instead of focusing on yourself, find ways to shift the conversation toward the other person. Listening and being able to hold a conversation on various topics will help your sales conversations go smoothly.

Ask Better Questions

Perfecting the art of the question leads to better answers in any conversation. Asking yes or no questions can make for short conversation and leave you without the information you’re looking for. For example, instead of simply asking “Have you heard of TVC-Pro Driver?” you might ask “What do you know about TVC Pro-Driver?” Thoughtful questions will lead to more engaging conversations.

Keep It Positive

Make it a goal for people to leave conversations with you feeling happier and more at ease than when it started. Discussing controversial topics or making confrontational remarks may mean the conversation is short lived and leave a bad impression. You’ll leave a much better impression if you uplift people instead of making them feel on edge. 

Whether you’re a conversation master or still perfecting your small talk, practicing these tips will help you seem confident, knowledgeable and trustworthy. Using these tactics in various settings will help you fine tune your skill set and win more sales.