The Lost Art of Conversation

The Lost Art of Conversation from http://jenfongspeaks.comReturning to blogging and social media after nearly a year has been an interesting exercise for me. I’ve been immersing myself in new social networks, while also putting more focus on the tried and true. And what has been so evident to me is how many people have adopted these networks for the exclusive purpose of marketing. It feels like the human element has been almost completely disregarded.

Before, there were at least some who enjoyed conversation. Saying hello. Getting to know you. There is such richness in discovering others. And if you don’t take the time to do so, your marketing completely revolves around you and your pitch. Maybe what some focus group told you is my priority. But clearly not what I really need.

I recently connected with some new folks on Twitter. I read every bio, looked at the streams, and connected with people whom I thought had some interesting things to say. And yet nearly every single one, as soon as I connected, either pitched me in the Twitter stream or via private message. Why on earth would I be interested in what you’re selling if I don’t even know you? It’s different when I’m in the market for something and reach out to you to buy. But in this situation? It’s a social network. How about we be social first?

What is becoming increasingly evident is how many people are in such a rush to jump the line. To skip that time-consuming getting to know you conversation, and jumping right into the pitch. And how very sad that is. Because you’re alienating people who might be very good customers. If you only took the time.

The best salespeople nurture within themselves an innate curiosity in those around them. What makes them tick? What is important to them? HOW CAN I SERVE? Serve is the key here. You cannot serve if you are constantly pitching. Because at that point, it’s about you, not me. And that doesn’t serve anyone.

I encourage you to block out some time each day for conversation. It can be in person or online. But talk to people. Ask questions. Discover. Make it your goal to find out 10 things about people that you didn’t know when you woke up.

The business will come. But you’re a lot more likely to get it if you rediscover that lost art of conversation.

Your thoughts? Please share them in the comments below.

11 Responses to The Lost Art of Conversation
  1. Barbara Taylor
    May 29, 2016 | 3:20 pm

    This post hits the nail on the head. I implemented your tips the last few days and it’s been making a huge difference. I am guilty of not spending enough time being “social” on social networking sites. Thanks for the great reminder. I’m enjoying the content you have posted on your blog.
    Barbara Taylor recently posted..Creative Visualization VS Daydreaming

    • Jennifer Fong
      May 31, 2016 | 12:33 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience, and kudos to you for taking action. Have a wonderful week!

  2. Libby Adams
    May 24, 2016 | 6:49 am

    Very well said Jen. Many people just text or email with no live interaction anymore. I’m still a telephone type person when I want a response unless they can’t and then a text or email would be acceptable to me. What people are losing or not getting is that joy in talking to a live person and hearing their voice or seeing them in person and being able to get that vibrational sensation you get when meeting new or old friends.

    • Jennifer Fong
      May 24, 2016 | 10:45 am

      Thanks for commenting Libby! I think you illustrate a great point that interaction means different things to different people. For some, a phone or live conversation is what counts. For others, an electronic connection is just as real and meaningful. Different generations and people have different perceptions. But I think what matters most is that people reach out and connect, getting to know others, before the sales pitch. When you connect and immediately pitch, it’s an incredible turn-off that drives away business. What a waste of time! I think it’s time for a “social media revival” that helps people recapture the lost art of community building and interaction.

  3. Annemarie Berukoff
    May 23, 2016 | 6:22 pm

    Thanks, Jennifer, for a long overdue post and a message I wish I could write as eloquently. I, too, after a year’s absence due to illness, returned to the internet “circus” and was disillusioned by a constant selling bombardment with no personal relationship. I have read a couple of articles now stating that collection of names and content are no longer “SEO kings.” There is a louder call for conversation and caring which provides an important safety network for potential prospects or customers. I hope the tide is turning and your article certainly helps the “human factor.” We need more!

    • Jennifer Fong
      May 23, 2016 | 6:30 pm

      Annemarie, thanks for taking the time to comment, and I wholeheartedly agree. I’m glad to hear that there are many voices calling for conversation. It starts with each one of us taking the time to start that conversation. I believe that we will get there!

  4. Melody Thacker
    May 23, 2016 | 4:18 pm

    I spend very little time on twitter, some days I don’t even look at my feed. I use lists, they help cut down on the clutter but not if the people on the list are just broadcasting.

    I’ve recently started using snapchat and some of my ds sisters are asking for the order before they’ve built a relationship.

    I’ve missed you and your blog posts Jen, so glad to see you are back!!!
    Melody Thacker recently posted..How to Know Which Vanilla To Use

    • Jennifer Fong
      May 23, 2016 | 4:23 pm

      Thanks for commenting Melody! It’s great to be back!

  5. Karen Clark
    May 23, 2016 | 1:44 pm

    Sadly Twitter in particular has degenerated into not much more than a broadcasting tool. It is too bad since I initially met a lot of my current online friends there – including you! I miss the “chat” atmosphere Twitter once had!
    Karen Clark recently posted..Coming Up with Social Media Post Ideas

    • Jennifer Fong
      May 23, 2016 | 1:54 pm

      I agree with you Karen. But you know how we fix it? One conversation at a time!!

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