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Confidence in talking to strangers

cla519

Member
Jun 5, 2005
317
0
I receive these emails from thesuccessfactory.com and are very helpful. This is a subject that I have trouble with and thought others might benifit from it!

Recently we received the following email…

I would like some information on how to build my confidence when talking to strangers. I need help with organizaion
skills and help with voice messages I leave all the time and no return call. I would just like any assistance that you
have to offer.

Thanks for your question. One thing about the party plan business is that sometimes those of us who would normally strike
up conversations with total strangers in the past, now become ‘tongue-tied’. We are so frightened of the rejection that might
come from talking about our products with others that we lose the ability to be ‘other centered’ and think about how our product
or service is a benefit (vs. something we are PUSHING on to someone else).

If you are having difficulty in this area, I would suggest that perhaps you just need a bit of practice. Start by striking up conversations
with strangers WITHOUT the intention of mentioning your business. You would be amazed at how much people love to chat when
it is about themselves or their children. Begin by looking for something you can compliment them sincerely on. In line at the grocery,
you might say, “That pink outfit is just darling on your little girl; it really goes well with her coloring – how old is she?” Try to keep the
conversation going for a minute or so. Keep on practicing where ever you go, perhaps challenging yourself to talk to 1-2 strangers
each day, but NOT about business. Remember it takes 21 days to form a new habit, so take several weeks and do just that.

Now it is time to incorporate your company into these “stranger” conversations. It is all about being ‘other-centered’. Look for the
need. It might be that the check-out gal is VERY pregnant. The conversation could go something like this…
“Wow, how sore are YOUR feet by the end of the day?” (wait for her to answer)… “Now, will you be returning to work after the
baby is born?” (again wait for an answer) “I don’t know if you would even be interested, but I’d love to talk to you about what I
do to stay home with my children. May I share my card with you and perhaps call you at a later time so we can chat?”

WE SORT, we DO NOT convince. Just have fun with it and make it a game, not a life or death situation. Challenge yourself to talk
to one new person a day and realize that many will not be interested. However, the more you do, the easier it will get and the better
you will get at it. It just takes practice.

Your question about answering machine messages is also a good one. In this day and age of caller ID and other technology, this can
be a tricky topic. Here are some guidelines:

1. Get permission to call whenever possible. When you book a party at a party, ask the new hostess when the best time is to reach her
and do just that. Also, if someone says, “Not now, but maybe I’ll schedule in a few months…” again get permission to call back. Your
reply should be, “Great, I schedule my June parties at the beginning of May, is it OK, for me to call you then? When is the best time to
reach you?”

2. Don’t expect people to call you back. Leave messages that give your name and number, but indicate that you will be calling again.
“Hi, this is Mary Smith from Amazing Parties. I met you at Audrey’s house in January and I promised to phone you to set up your June
party in May, so that is the purpose of my call. My number is xxx-xxxx. Please call me at your earliest convenience, or I will get back
to you in a day or so.” If by chance they DO phone back, consider it a gift, otherwise, just try again.

3. NOW, I know my comments in #2 will spark some, “BUT WHAT DO I DO IF I CAN NEVER REACH THEM,” questions. It
always does. When do you stop trying? Well, honestly, I hardly ever do. But I may string out my messages leaving a longer time between
calls (like weeks or months). I also give them permission to say NO. Acting as though you are desperate for business gets you nowhere
FAST. Always act as though you have all the business in the world; this will lessen any ‘pressure’ someone might be feeling.

Here’s a message I might leave giving permission to say NO. “Hi, this is Mary Smith from Amazing Parties…I’m SO sorry we haven’t
been able to connect. I’ve left several messages for you and I’m really starting to feel like a pest. I’m wondering if you can do me a favor
so I can stop bugging you. If you are no longer interested in a party, would you please leave a quick message to that effect on my voice
mail just so I know to quit calling? That would be a great help for me…thanks so much! As a reminder, my number is xxx-xxxx.”

You may not get a response, but honestly, when I leave THAT message I get a MUCH higher percentage of return phone calls. Sometimes
people, especially women, need to know that it is really OK to say NO. And you, as the consultant, need not to take it personally. More
times than not, it is because life has thrown them a curve ball and they can’t do a party right now. Often, however, they will give you
permission to phone them again at some point down the road. Just be sure you narrow a specific time frame down.



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kimmers

Member
Dec 19, 2005
272
0
Very informative, thank you very much for posting. I for one know that I have a hard time bringing up my business to strangers. I know it is something that I need to overcome, and this should really help.

Thanks again
Kim
 
Jan 6, 2006
50
0
Thanks for sharing that information. That is really going to help me. I'm going to be entering into an opportunity starting in March where I will be meeting people from all over the country and I need to be able to mention Pampered Chef to them in conversation. It's going to be interesting for me and I want to really use my lifestyle and opportunity to be able to do this to also build my business outwards.

So between now and then, I'm going to practice this.

Thanks again.
Kris
 
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