Adamson Advisory

Conversations

Sometimes we make marketing and selling more difficult than it really is. According to the long-time consulting guru, David Maister, marketing and selling are about having conversations.

Here is an excerpt from his book, Strategy and the Fat Smoker:

Marketing (and/or selling) begins to work when a conversation moves away from being a role-to-role exchange of capabilities, contracts, and costs and becomes a person-to-person interactive dialogue about ideas, beliefs, and perspectives. Only then can it build the chemistry, confidence, and commitment that lead to new revenues.

Imagine a dinner party conversation. What makes a good conversationalist in such a setting? He or she:

  • Has a fresh point of view, but does not try to thrust it upon everyone else
  • Speaks politely and respectfully
  • Tells good stories to illustrate key points
  • Is good at drawing other people’s views out and drawing them into the conversation
  • Speaks intelligently on a variety of subjects, but is not afraid to admit areas of ignorance
  • Avoids trotting out well-worn arguments or cliches.
  • Listens with genuine interest
  • Is light-hearted in style, but always respectful of others’ views

All of these conversational skills also apply to effective marketing and selling.

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