Meeting and Greeting

By Selling Power Editors

On sales calls or at social events, making good conversation helps you make new customers. Try these pointers and learn to turn small talk into big sales.

Call the other person by their name. Use the name of the person you’re talking to at least twice during the conversation. Everyone likes the sound of their own name, and using others’ names more often will help you remember them clearly.

Ask questions first. Ask a lot of targeted, open-ended questions. Think who, what, when, where, how and why. This is the best way to learn about the other person, and it helps keep the conversation going.

Introduce yourself. Speak clearly and distinctly, particularly if you have an unusual name. It’s often difficult to be heard in large gatherings, and you want to make sure others hear your name correctly so they don’t have to ask you to repeat it and so they can introduce you properly to new people.

Lend a hand with leads. After learning a little about your contact’s business, ask, “How would I recognize a good lead for you?” Make a mental note of the answer.

Mingle, mingle. End conversations by pointing someone else out and asking if the person you’re talking to knows them. If not, say, “Neither do I. Let’s go and introduce ourselves.” If your contact does know the other person, ask for an introduction. This ends one conversation politely so you can meet more people.

Leni Chauvin is president of Business Referral Exchange, a professional leads-generating company helping clients find qualified referrals. For your own copy of the booklet “Mingle and Make Money,” send $6.00 to BRE, Dept. GB-9, PMB #1159, 1733 H. St., Ste. 330, Blaine, WA 98230-5106.