As a real estate professional, you probably spend a good portion of your day talking with past and current clients, prospective clients, other agents, people around the office, etc. However, how would they rate your conversation skills?
Unfortunately, in this day and age, as well spend more time looking at screens, not looking at faces, our conversational skills have suffered. Since many of us communicate through text or email, we often feel awkward when we have to communicate with someone face-to-face or voice-to-voice. Often, when we’re in those situations, we tend to fill the void in conversation by prattling on about ourselves instead of getting to know the person we’re speaking with. Becoming an expert conversationalist takes skill and practice. However, here are three tips to improve your conversational skills:
Make the other person feel important. People who have mastered the art of conversation do one thing that others don’t: They make the other person feel like the most important person in the room. This skill takes focus. Unfortunately, our fast-paced, smart technology driven, multi-tasking society has encouraged our attention spans to shrink as we’ve become more dependent on devices. As a result, it’s hard for many of us to focus on the person we’re speaking with when our smartphone is telling us that we have 5 new messages, we’re thinking of our next clever Facebook status update and our eyes are scanning the room as if they’re scanning a webpage.
How to improve: Set aside an hour to unplug every night. No, doing this activity when you’re sleeping doesn’t count. Take an hour of your waking time and shut off your phone, tablet, computer and any other gadgets that distract you. Use this time to focus on one activity, whether you meditate, do focus exercises, journal or do another, non-technology connected activity.
Practice. As with anything, practice makes perfect. If you want to improve your conversational skills, strike up conversations with everyone you meet, from the person in line in front of you at the coffee shop to the acquaintance you ran into at lunch. And, if the person doesn’t wish to speak with you, then you’ll learn to gracefully oblige their wishes.
How to improve: Set a goal to have a certain number of conversations each day. Whether you set a goal to have five new conversations or fifteen, be sure you keep track of your progress by using Referral Maker® real estate CRM. Referral Maker can help you reach all of your goals, business and otherwise.
Think “We,” not “I.” Many of us have the habit of bringing the conversation back to ourselves—focusing on what we’re saying and what we’ll say next, instead of focusing on what the other person is saying. Remember, a one-sided conversation is basically a monologue. You’re not looking for an audience; you’re looking to connect with another person. Instead of thinking ahead to what you’ll say next, listen to what the other person is saying now. Not only will this prevent misunderstandings from developing, it’ll also help you remain in the present.
How to improve: Listening is essential in order to build relationships with clients and colleagues alike. Listen to what they’re saying, note their body language and tone of voice, ask questions to learn more and repeat what they’ve said, if necessary, to ensure that you’ve heard them correctly.
Practice these three skills on a regular basis to help you sharpen your conversation skills and build strong relationships with your clients, colleagues, family, friends and the people you meet each day. If you commit to practice, over time people will be singing your praises and seeking you out.
Do you want more tips to help you improve your relationships with your clients? Register for Brian Buffini’s Success Tour when it rolls into Toronto, Canada on November 4th and 5th. Brian Buffini and Joe Niego, America’s best listing agent, will give you the knowledge and tools you need to take your business to the next level and thrive in the new era of real estate. Special guest, the best-selling author Les Brown, will inspire attendees to overcome challenges and realize their full potential. Visit BrianBuffini.com to register today!