When prospecting, there’s one trap we all have to watch out for, and that’s making the mistake of redirecting the conversational focus and making it about you rather than the prospect. For example, if someone mentions that they are from Atlanta, Georgia. You might comment, “Oh, wonderful. I was born and raised there!” (So far so good …you’re connecting …you have some things in common to share.) Then you make the mistake of continuing on and tell them about the neighborhood you grew up in, the high school you graduated from in Atlanta, your first job there, your upcoming reunion, …blah, blah, blah. You just made it all about YOU.
You’ve fallen in to the trap of trying to connect by being interesting rather than by being interested. You took the focus off the prospect and put it back on you. Of course it’s important to share your connecting values and interests, but make sure you are communicating your interest in THEM rather than attempting to show them how interesting YOU are. Here’s an example of responding to connect and create rapport, but keeping the conversational focus on the prospect. The secret is to respond and then follow your response with a question. Here’s a sample conversation:
Prospect: “I just moved here from Atlanta.”
You: “Oh, wonderful. I was born and raised in Atlanta and still have many friends in the area. Did you enjoy living there? …What brought you here? …Do you still have family there?”
Focus on being interested – not interesting. Don’t worry. If you are genuinely interested in people they’ll find you VERY interesting! Important take away: The very first step in “power prospecting” is to connect and create rapport. Without it no communication will ever be entirely successful.