New Orleans Blogs

Shortly after retiring from the Coast Guard and starting my consulting business, I was blessed to have happened upon a notice for an upcoming meeting of the New Orleans Chapter of the National Speakers Association (NSA). I went to that meeting, and was immediately hooked. The quality of the speakers, and the willingness of everyone to share what they know about growing a business as a speaker, or an expert, blew me away. I quickly became a member, and I make it a priority to attend every national convention. Of course, you have to implement what you learn, and I happen to be very good at that. I owe much of my success to NSA, and so, I was proud to have been installed as the New Orleans Chapter President in June of 2015. If you are interested in professional speaking, or marketing yourself as an expert, you couldn’t have found a better place than the National Speakers Association.

-Kevin Gilheany

How many engaging conversations will you have this month with those successful entrepreneurs in your top 200 (or top 20%)?

What we’re talking about is making a simple commitment to identify your top clients and get in front of them. Drink a cup of coffee with them. I would strongly suggest to not setting an unrealistic goal. If you haven’t been terribly engaged, start with one person in your top 200 (20%) every day. Just one person. You’ll end up with 20 customers that you’ve seen by the end of the month because the average month only has about 20 business days in it anyhow.

Conversations make a very important element in making effective business agreements. Every transaction or business contract can only be reached through a conversation. Many corporations make business communication a requisite training to all their employees. Sales people and insurance agents are professionals who are involved constantly in negotiations or making business deals. Business meetings could be quite disastrous if not adequately planned. When planning to meet a potential client or partner, one has to adequately prepare. There are a number of things that should be considered. Having a checklist would be an effective way to ensure crucial insights are discussed.

Having a good conversation requires careful planning. Following simple guidelines can be an effective way to ensure your target is well engaged and you get the best out of the meeting. Most business leaders, insurance agents and entrepreneurs have to develop great business communication skills to enable them to build relationships, attract new customers and access funding.

Understand your target

To develop a good and engaging communication one should clearly understand the audience. The audience can be a single individual or a group of many people. Having a clear picture of what such a target would need is very necessary. Key questions that will reveal if a person or entity is a qualified prospect for your product or service offering is always well worth the time spent.

Ask many questions

These are very important because they give the other person an opportunity to talk about him or herself. This can be a very effective way of getting to understand and know the other party. Listen attentively as the person answers such questions and continue probing if necessary. It is important that you remain polite and direct. Most people would love to talk about their interests, goals and passions. The rule of thumb dictates that the initial questions be very generic and light then one can continue inquiring about issues that are more specific. Your interests should be as genuine as possible. This can be done by maintaining eye contact and appropriate body language.

Active listening

Listening is an aspect that is often forgotten in many conversations. It is important that one should listen when the other person is talking. Listening helps one develop the appropriate questions and other relevant issues about the conversation. Active listening can help one paraphrase some ideas or issues. Such aspect sends important insights to the other party that one is actually listening. It also encourages the other person to talk more.
Remember:
“LISTENING IS NOT – WAITING TO TALK!”

Concentrate

When talking with other people it is important to be focused on what the dialogue is all about. Most people would be so distracted by other issues like how they are dressed and the appearance of the other person. Such issues would only draw one away from the dialogue and in a short while, the conversation will certainly break down. In essence, it is important that people forget about themselves and concentrate on whatever the conversation is all about.

Disagree with respect

It is a common phenomenon for people to disagree on one or two issues while having a discussion. This is indeed a critical point of any conversation as it may break or make the conversation continue. The way one shows disagreement may greatly affect the conversation. Some people may opt to walk out of the talk or show disrespect. It is important that people who are involved in business politely and with lots of respect raise a point of concern.

Marvin LeBlanc, LUTCF, CNP
Entrepreneur – Best Selling Author – Leadership Coach
National Member of the National Speakers Association