Ways to Engage Your Prospects Without Becoming a Bore
Bore: A person who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company.
Gian Vincenzo Gravina
A bore is a fellow who opens his mouth and puts his feats in it.
One out of three hundred and twelve Americans is a bore…
and a healthy male adult bore consumes each year one and a half times his own weight in other people’s patience.
The worst thing about a bore is not that he won’t stop talking, but that he won’t let you stop listening.
Copyright © 2010 Thomas Lee
Heartstormer Thomas Lee lives in Bozeman MT.
Me Me Me ME ME ME! And then I…
Are you a bore or a listener when you interface with prospects, clients, networkers, and others? Are you asking enough questions that allows the other person to share? Do you let them know that you heard them by paraphrasing what they share with you? For example, “What I heard you say is…” Or do you enter someone’s space and begin talking about yourself before you even sit down?
Here are some tips that will help you be liked in the process of building relationships with the people who can give you what you want.
Make the Meeting About the Other Person
Be Fully Present
Laugh a Little
Dare to be Different
Be a Little Mischievous
Ask creative questions that are challenging, caring, interesting, informative, open-ended. Creative questions often begin with What if…? How may we…? In what ways…? Who are…? Why…? These kinds of questions are filled with a variety of answers that will help you get to know the other person. Each question leads to dialog. Do not ask questions that may be answered yes or no. Practice keeping control of the interview. Do not give your power away. Hold back from handing your portfolio to your prospect for as long as possible. Get them talking about themselves. Repeat what you heard your prospect say to confirm that you understand and to let them know you are listening. What I heard you say is… It is okay to take notes.
Make a list of ten creative questions that you may ask to learn more about your prospect and to get them sharing about themselves. Here is a starter list of advertising related questions (Please make up your own):
What if we were to collaborate on an assignment? What would you want me to know about you? What would you want to know about me?
What if you could change one thing about the agency business, what would it be?
What if you knew who the right photographer was to do a job even before you created the final concept? Have you ever worked with a photographer the initial concept phases of an ad.
Pretend that advertising has been banned by congress. What kind of work would you do? How would you go about doing it?
What if the next print ad you did demanded the highest level of innovation? In what ways would you want to collaborate with a photographer?
What if we were living in a Utopian world where each person could choose the kind of work they want to do? What kind of work would you do if money was not an object?
If you could make one improvement about how photographers try to get your attention, what would it be?
Let your prospects know that you know something about them and that you have chosen them as prospects. Let them know you are interested in them:
I want to work with art directors who are not only interested in great ideas but who can sell them through to their clients. I want to work with risk takers. Etc… (personalize this) I saw what you did when you were still at Dewey, Cheetham, and Howe. How in the world did the agency get the client to approve the idea?