Conversation Is Key

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“Markets are conversations.” – The Cluetrain Manifesto

How do you act at a cocktail party, or at happy hour? Do you try to relax and be yourself? Strike up a conversation with the bloke next to you about baseball or the sport du jour?

Of course you do. It’s how normal people act.

Now imagine the following: as you sit there talking about how tired you are about the Yankees spending too much money or how you can believe they’re remaking the movie Arthur, a guy in a leisure suit pokes his head between you and your bar buddy. This interloper puts his arms around both of you then yells at the top of his lungs, “HAS ANYONE TALKED TO YOU ABOUT THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF WIDGETS!!??” As the stench of his scotch and Pall Mall cigarette breath dissipates, you begin to plot your escape route.

Nobody likes a hard sell. Even fewer people like a hard sell while they’re trying to relax and socialize.

So stop for a moment before you send that tweet that’s in all caps. Don’t be “that guy.” Instead, ask a question, or better yet, answer somebody’s question. Strike up a conversation, make a friend by just being yourself. If work comes up, so be it. Tell a story and be interesting and your friends will want to hear more.

The better you get at telling stories and being a resource, the more people will rely on you. Be the person that everyone wants to talk to and you win in every way imaginable. You have more friends that double as your audience, you are seen as an expert in your area and you have set yourself up for an easy sale if and when one of your new friends needs what you have to offer.

All by just being yourself. Congratulations!

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