Too many times in business networking events, I’d be approached by someone who would talk continuously about their product or service offering for at least 10 minutes. These people do not seem to notice the glazed look of the listener’s eyes, nor the body wanting to move away from them. They just talk, talk and talk. These people are exceedingly good at hanging onto others for a long time, not letting them move. They hand out literature that I end up throwing away because I haven’t asked for them. It is not hard to be averse to such people and their product or service offerings. I’m sure many of you have similar experiences.
The messages these non-stop talkers convey are:
they are desperate for business – because they wouldn’t stop talking about it, and make it obvious that you are a good candidate for the offerings they have, even though you know you are not a candidate at this time;
their products are complicated – since it takes them so long to explain what they are and how they work;
they do not respect your time – because they don’t seem to notice you are not interested and wanted to move away.
Therefore, in networking events, silence can be very powerful. Silence does not mean that you are to be mute throughout an event.
In silence, you get to listen and observe whether the person in front of you is a prospect or not. You can better qualify people by asking questions, and let the other person talk.
Hence, be quiet after you give your thirty seconds infomercial. Do not feel that you have to ramble on to keep the conversation going. Instead, just relax, and observe the people you converse with. If they are interested in what you have to offer, they will ask you more questions. Then, you may give them more detail about your offerings.
Observe the behaviour of your potential prospects – are they interested? Watch the body language – are they giving you full attention by facing you directly, or are they moving away from you? Are the eyes shifting away from you frequently, or are they focused on you?
Last but not least, if you are a victim of a non-stop talker, the best thing to do is to be honest and let them know that at this point you are not in need of what they have to offer. Thank them for taking the time to explain their offering to you, then walk away.
Noelle Wong sees and unveils beauty in people. She is the owner of iN-IMAGE! Inc. , a personal image consulting company in Toronto that offers one-on-one consultations and workshops to help people increase their personal presence. For more information, please visit her website at http://www.in-image.com .