During a lunch meeting with Leo Levinson, CEO of GroupLevinson Advertising, the concept of “me talk” vs. “you talk” in positioning yourself or your business came up in our discussion. I think it is a valuable mnemonic for any business professional because we often become so focused on selling ourselves to a prospect that we fail to engage with the other person(s).
Here is a breakdown in the idea:
“Me talk” focuses on my business and myself. I describe my business model, my work history, and my accomplishments to validate my credibility and differentiate myself. In the end you spend most of the conversation talking instead of listening thus missing a valuable opportunity to connect with a prospective client in understanding the needs of his or her business.
“You talk,” forces you to actively listen to a prospect or even a client. Most people want to open up and share their challenges when they have an activelistener. You will eventually be in the position to bounce ideas back and forth, but you must not just be waiting for an opening to bring it back to “Me talk.” Focus on catching key words and phrases to identify needs and opportunities that can develop into follow up conversations and ultimately business opportunities. After listening to “You talk” we are better able to craft our message in a way that fits with their challenges and positions our strengths.
Pay close attention to your conversations this week. Change how you are presenting yourself and what others are doing in response. What sort of reactions are you observing? Does he or she seem more receptive in the conversation? Is there a quicker response when you follow up? Are you able to better position yourself and your company? Share your thoughts and experiences below.