I’m afraid to talk to people. Let me get one right out into the open. The thought of having to explain myself to people makes me clam up. I don’t even feel sorry for myself, I completely understand why people don’t want to listen to someone stuttering their way around speaking. I have always been introverted, so it’s not never a far stretch to understand why I hate being on the phone with all but a select few. I hate having to explain something to someone without some basis of commonality. Yet, amazingly, I can do public speaking well.
Perhaps it’s that with public speaking I don’t have to have a heart to heart with just one person. I can form a basis for them listening to me through my speech and I don’t have keep eye contact with one person or wait to be interrupted. For me, while speaking to someone about a product or while giving a pitch, I see people’s eyes glaze over or see the objection in their eyes. I want to be as commanding as when I speaking in public, when I am speaking to people one on one.
I want to think there is a way around this, around talking to people to make a sale. But there isn’t. It’s not even low confidence in myself or no confidence in the product. I can talk a blue streak about the products, but I have come to realize this isn’t what the customer always wants to hear. I have to learn to lead with questions. To have a conversation I have to ask questions, not just talk at people. And how many times to people answer your questions they way you expect them to? So I also have to learn to roll with punches and have genuine answers to tough questions. But isn’t that really what I am there for in a business conversation? Isn’t that the point, being there to provide service and support? In my other business, Photo Heirlooms, one of my directors made the analogy of offering your product or service to a waitress offering coffee in a restaurant. All a business conversation should be, is you offering what you have and being ready to take an order. A waitress doesn’t get upset because someone told her they didn’t want coffee, and she keeps asking. That is her job.
So for all you introverted home business people, remember that when talking with your customers, you need to be the ideal waitress. You should be willing to lightly offer what you have and ready to take an order! And don’t be the waitress in the kitchen upset that no one took any coffee! It’s easy, offer up “your coffee” today!