Socializing is the art of meeting and engaging people. Mastering socialization skills will not only help you in developing better relationships, but will also increase your business. Incorporating these characteristics into your everyday interactions will help you find and reach your target market.
- Sincerity – Most people can see through a fake smile or greeting and are therefore turned off by it. Be genuine in your interactions. Your customers will know that you truly do care about satisfying their needs and giving them a positive experience.
- Confidence – Project confidence not only in yourself, but also in the product/service you are offering and the manner in which you conduct your business. It reassures your customers that you are knowledgeable about your field and qualified to meet their needs.
- Inquisitiveness – Getting people talking is all about asking the right questions. It is of utmost importance that your customers feel that you have a sincere desire to learn more about them, but they won’t divulge anything without being asked. Decide what you really should know about a customer to meet his or her needs and strike up conversations with people that relates to those topics. Tip: Create a “script” to get you started that includes a few pre-planned questions, topics, or anecdotes to break the ice or fill a pause in a conversation.
- Listening – There is a great difference between hearing what is being said and listening to it. Listening requires you to process information; a person can easily tell if you are listening to him or her. Show that you are listening by responding when prompted, making eye contact, and reading the body language of those to whom you are speaking. Tip: Listening skills role-play makes a great activity for professional development. Plan a few topics ahead of time, and take turns speaking about and listening to them for five minutes at a time.
- Positive – People are turned off by negative people. Make sure your conversations stay positive. Even if the conversation turns critical, always maintain a positive view. The impression you will leave after the conversation is an optimistic and can do person. And that’s the kind of person people want to do business with.
- Promote others – Make sure most of your conversations are about others. This shows people that not only are you caring, but also gives you an opportunity to highlight your ethics and values. Customers are loyal to businesses that they like and trust.
Places to socialize with your target market:
- Community events and hot spots (local fundraisers, playgroups, sports games, farmers markets, dog parks)
- Informal and formal parties (summer barbeques, beach outings, holiday cookie bakes, New Year’s celebrations)
- Online through blogging, social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), your business website
- Self-sponsored open house or grand opening event
However you choose to do so, socializing with your target market requires you to know exactly who they are. Once you have identified them, put yourself in situations that allow for meaningful social interactions. You will not only promote your business, but also learn more about how to satisfy your customers’ needs in the process.
How do you interact socially with your prospects? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.
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