I’m in the market for a new business coach. So the other day, I posted a question on LinkedIn and asked about 70 people in my network if they knew of anyone whom they’d recommend. Much to my delight, and just 24 hours later, I had about 20 suggestions (thank you network).
One of the potential coaches I spoke with on the phone talked for … not exaggerating … twenty minutes straight. Twenty minutes, without interruption, all by himself, at the beginning of the call.
I’m pretty sure he didn’t take a breath. And I’m definitely sure he didn’t ask me about myself, my business, why I thought I needed a coach, or anything else. Just twenty minutes about who he is, how he works, what his programs are.
Guess who I’m not hiring?
Here’s the thing. I know it’s tempting to jump in and immediately explain why you’re good at what you do. Especially if you’re relatively new in business and are concerned about coming across as expert and capable. But talking about yourself first is exactly the wrong thing to do (even if the person on the other end invites you to).
Remember, they called you, which means they have some kind of problem that needs fixing.
So try this instead. Ask questions and questions and more questions. Help them articulate what the issue is. Ask them to tell you about themselves and (if they have one) their business. Find out why they feel the need to hire someone as oppossed to doing whatever needs doing by themselves.
The point is, let them talk. A lot. Then, and only then, take a run at explaining how you may be of assistance. Believe me, if you learn to stop talking, you’ll close a lot more deals and with a lot fewer words.