At golf league the other night one of the guys in my foursome (& no… don’t worry, he won’t be reading this blog) would not stop talking. He went on & on & on about guess what? You got it… every single golf shot he took. For the entire round. He helped to make 2 hours of fun turn into the most exhausting 2 hours ever spent.
2 hours we will never get back!
On the 3rd or 4th hole my partner said, “Hey Tear, count the times he says “I” on the next hole.” So we did. Unbelievable. 39 times between teeing off & sinking his putt. THIRTY-NINE times. At one point my partner said, “Excuse me, but did the middle of my sentence interfere with the beginning of yours?” Almost fell out of the cart laughing! Thought to myself, good thing this guy isn’t in sales – he’d starve!
OK, be ridiculously honest with yourself. It might hurt. Ask yourself: How many times do I say the word “I” on sales calls? How many times do I write the word “I” in my emails? A painful exercise that will pay off for you (especially if you support a family based on commissions you earn from making sales). You have to remember this: IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU!
So many people want to make it about themselves (you know these people). They talk about what they’ve done, where they’ve been, where they’re going, who they know. You want to know how great they are? Just ask ‘em! Some people trip over themselves to remind you that they are there. Again, exhausting!
So let’s review ways to make it about THEM. It starts with you being curious. You asking questions. You being a good listener.
Ask questions like:
- “What did we discuss that caused you to invite us in?”
- “What are some of the problems you are having?”
- “What’s going on here, with you & your business?”
- “What are you looking for?”
- “Why don’t we ask each other some questions & see if we have a fit?”
Say things like:
- “Makes sense.”
- “Sounds interesting.”
- “Appreciate that.”
- “Hmm. . . that sounds tough.”
- “You have given this a lot of thought.”
In emails simply cut out the “I’s”:
- “It can be difficult…”
- “We were discussing…”
- “We’d like to offer…”
- “When can we get together to determine next steps?”
- “When is the best date/time for us to connect?”
Don’t be “that “I” guy”.