I admit it. I’m turning into a total conversation geek.
But honestly, conversations are fascinating.
Conversation is the bedrock of every relationship we have.
First dates begin with a conversation. That interview for your job… that was a conversation. The relationships you have with your kids is based on the conversations you have with them.
That cluster of people in hallway at a conference? They’re having a conversation.
At coffee shops, in bars and restaurants, even on airplanes… people are connecting, learning and growing through the power of conversation.
As marketers and writers, we can tap into that power as a way to better connect with our customers and prospects.
Let’s look at just 3 of the lessons we can learn from having a good conversation.
Reason #1: Listen before you talk
A good conversation depends on our willingness to listen. Otherwise it’s just an exercise in two people talking AT each other. Always a frustrating experience.
The trouble is, most of us are terrible listeners.
We really are. That’s why so many of our most important conversations descend into arguments.
The same is true of how we market.
Most companies are terrible listeners.
Smart marketers listen before they craft their sales messages. And they then adapt those messages as a result of feedback they receive from their customers and prospects.
It’s not so hard to be a good listener online.
Social media threads, surveys and polls, product and service reviews… they can all reveal what it is your audience cares about. The language they use. What they love and want. What they dislike and hope to avoid.
Listen to what your audience is saying.
Then craft a marketing message that makes it clear you’ve been paying attention.
And no, don’t pay lip service to this, as so many companies do. Just saying, ”We’re listening” doesn’t count.
That’s no better than the guy who says, “I hear you”, when all he actually wants to hear is the sound of his own voice.
Reason #2: Build trust
A conversation between two people can only go so far without trust.
We don’t want to share or reveal too much unless we feel we can trust the other person.
But when trust is earned, conversations can go to a whole new level.
Think about the best conversations you’ve had with your most trusted friends or colleagues.
Think about how collaborative and creative a good conversation can be.
Trust lies at the heart of those really great conversations.
That’s why we don’t have good conversations with pushy salespeople. We don’t trust them.
And when telemarketers phone us we put the phone down as quickly as possible. We have no intention of having any kind of conversation with them, because we absolutely don’t trust them.
Building trust follows on from listening.
Being a good listener is a signal. It’s a sign that we’re sincere and that we care. It’s a sign we can be trusted.
Reason #3: Be persuasive in a non-adversarial way
Once you’ve been listening carefully for a while and have earned the trust of your audience, you can share the good news about your products or services.
And make no mistake, conversational language can be powerfully persuasive.
If you have a significant other, or kids, you already know this.
They’ll persuade you to change your mind about which movie to watch. or which vacation to take. Your teenager will persuade you to let her stay out way later than you’re comfortable with.
They don’t use marketing hype, or business jargon.
They use everyday, conversational language.
And that’s my point…
You can be persuasive without using the tips, tricks and techniques of marketing writers.
If you’ve taken the time to listen.
If you’ve earned the trust of your audience.
Then, and only then… you can sell through the persuasive power of everyday conversational language.
Note: Find out about how you can learn the craft of conversational copywriting here…