Talking to People About Your Business: Anytime, Anyplace, Anyhow?

On 3/14, Tanya Smith and Tai Goodwin interviewed me on their BlogTalk Radio show, Your First 20 Clients for a segment, How to Talk to Strangers (and Friends) About Your New Business.

This blog post is the fourth in a series based on that show (I’m transcribing it one question at a time).

Today’s question is from 17:38 to 22:40 in the hour-long audio of the show.

Tai:  Are there certain times and places or situations that we shouldn’t talk about our business?

Diane: Well, you know, my gut reaction was “yes,” but, as I thought about it, I have to be honest with you that there are not too many places that you can’t discuss business—if it comes up in the conversation and you’re respectful of other people and consider their needs.

I have had business conversations at funerals, but it was appropriate, like after the funeral when we’re just talking.  It wasn’t during the service, for example.

Before watching a movie is OK, but once the previews start and the lights go down it’s not appropriate to continue talking.

If you’re around people who are resentful of the fact that you’re talking business, it’s not an appropriate time.  I think that can happen a lot with family members that think that’s all you care about.  What they really want is you to be present with them and to be thinking about the relationship and them and not about business.  They want all of you when you’re with them.

People want all of you when you’re with them.

So, I think you’ll find the most resistance among family members.  Has that been your experience?

Tanya: I can say yes.  I think the point that you’re making about them wanting your time, your focus and your attention on them—that’s always what I’ve seen.  When they feel like I’m so focused on something else that I don’t value them as much as the job or as the business or as the career, then that’s when it becomes a problem.

Tai: I think it’s, too, when you’re not present, like you said.  You’re not really focused on what’s going on at that moment.  You’re just looking for any opening to kind of mention what you do and how you can provide a service and you’re not really focusing on everybody else that’s playing Pictionary.

Diane: And that’s not being very socially aware when you do that.  Anytime that people feel like they’re being manipulated, they become very resentful.  It’s like you’re using them.

Anytime that people feel like they’re being manipulated, they become very resentful.

I can remember—not that we ever did this—but one challenge with multi-level-marketing in the 80s was that people would invite people over for a dinner party and then they’d pull out a white board and spring a business plan on them–when they thought they were coming over for dinner.  Now, that  caused some hard feelings.

Tanya: I think that happens virtually now.  The other day someone Facebook friended me. Tai and I talked about this on our last show.  I took a look at the profile and thought “this might be a great connection.”  The minute I said yes, I swear within probably less than 5 minutes, I was tagged in a video, I received an email about multi-level marketing, whatever the person was doing, and then they sent me a note saying, “So, what do you do?”

So, I sent the person a note back—you know when you’re tagged in a video you end up get it showing up on your Facebook posts.  I was just overwhelmed within 5 minutes and  barely even knew the person.

So, then, I sent the person a note back saying, “Well, how did you find me? If you don’t know what I do, why did you even friend me?”

Diane: They’re just slinging mud against the wall and hoping something sticks!

Tanya: Um-hmmm.

Tai: It’s not a very effective way to get things done.

Diane: No. When you do it online or in-person, people know that you’re doing that.  Recently . . . I don’t remember what book I read this in or what blog I read it in . . . it might have been Seth Godin . . . the suggestion was to promote other people 12 times more than you promote yourself.  That’s a tall order!  You need to have enough connections to promote other people 12 times more than yourself.

Tai: That’s what I do on Twitter a lot.  I spend a lot of time finding really good content and articles and quotes of other people and sharing that out there.  My ratio’s probably about a 10 to 1 in sharing that.  I enjoy finding other people’s information and being able to share that out there.  It makes you look like a resource.

Diane: Oh, yeah.  That’s what people want.  They want people who can connect information, people and resources.  And then you’re a connector.

People want people who can connect information, people and resources.

Diane’s book Small Talk Big Results: Chit Chat Your Way to Success!


About Diane Windingland
I speak for organizations that want their people to have better, more profitable conversations.

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