Opportunity to chat is an expression to describe the interest of someone to listen to what you’re saying. Sales, management and blogging all use it.
Getting an “opportunity to chat” represents a chance to sell, promote an idea or put forth a position. The challenge is to recognise the what, how and when of the opportunity.
- Wisdom of Others
- Opportunity to Chat
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The Wisdom of Others
By most accounts the following generalisations seem to hold true.
Buying can also translate as “adopting your ideas”. So for management how do you get someone to buy into your idea.
People buy from people
All things being equal, people do business with and refer business to those people they know, like, and trust. Bob Burg
Bob Burg is a motivational speaker, consultant and author.
B2C can buy from companies such as Amazon, Netflix, Uber to name a few but for the rest of us…. It’s person to person.
- Read about industry trends impacting your buyers — every day
- Walk a mile in your customers’ shoes by experiencing their pain
- Learn about open-ended questions and active listening
- Be the expert in your company’s product or service
- Take time to research and customize everything
- Walk away from deals regularly
The personal experience
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou was an American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist.
Don’t trust sales people
If you have read Daniel Pink’s book, “To Sell is Human” he states that 9 out of 10 people have a negative perception of sales people. Heck, salespeople don’t even trust other salespeople!
Daniel H. Pink is an author of books about work, management, and behavioural science. Four are New York Times bestsellers
Opportunity to Chat
When to talk and when to shut up
Since going through my brain cancer I’ve had a lot of time to examine people’s reactions to the situation. Some people want to know a bit, some want to know a lot in gory detail, some quite simply don’t want to know.
When sitting opposite a person I have to gauge “do you want me to chat about it?”
This skill is reading queues in people’s body language and actions that invite a “request to chat”. The “please tell me more” signal.
People don’t really want to hear from others unless they get something out of it like a personal connection (which is self-sacrifice), solutions to their own problems or entertainment.
Most people want to be invited to chat more than they want to invite others to chat to them.
Selling your idea
The “Opportunity to chat” is when you’re invited to talk about something.
If a customer has a genuine question you will get the opportunity to chat. “Tell me more.”
People who don’t invite you to chat will very quickly be bored with you. They’ll change the subject, tune out or walk out on you.
Instead you need to swap to reading how they’re feeling and make them feel better. You invite them to chat. How do you personally feel when you’re invited to express your ideas?
Getting an “opportunity to chat” is what most people seek for on a daily basis, personally and professionally.
Cold calling / pitching a new idea is hard work and no matter how well you can make someone feel, if the person doesn’t start with an interest it’s a very uphill climb.
The imaginary conversation
You’re not mad but you do have conversations with your computer and phone every day and there’s only one person in the conversation.
Google, Yahoo, Bing answer you all the time. You chat to search engines all the time and we don’t mind chatting to them for just about everything. We invite Google to answer our questions and as Google is the world’s biggest I’ll use them as the example.
In a person to person conversation: Person 1 in Bold. Person 2 in Italics
- “Hello. How are you?”
- “Grand and yourself?”
- “What is the best CRM?”
And so on. With a computer you dispense with the pleasantries and get straight to the question
Google “What is the best CRM?” You just invited Google to chat to you. You gave Google the “opportunity to chat” and not any other search engine yet there are many.
This is the primary way Google make their money. So they need to be something you trust to provide answers. Their answers can be biased usually financially which is why anti-trust cases arise.
The European Commission said the world’s most popular internet search engine has 90 days to stop favoring its own shopping service or face a further penalty per day of up to 5 percent of Alphabet’s average daily global turnover. Click here to read the article on Reuters
So if we take as fact that people want to buy from people but we don’t trust sales people, we need someone who doesn’t shove selling down our throat.
I personally wouldn’t trust a website to speak objectively about their product but if they can give me enough information around the subject I’ll give them the floor to talk.
The clock is ticking. The ball is in your court Mr. Speaker why should I continue listening?
I also would review third party websites and look for reviews and topics which give me a feeling for what’s going on. These too are often ad and marketing driven. Even highly trusted researchers such as Gartner who I highly respect are paid for promotion as well.
When I have a genuine interest in a specific product or its specific features I head to the website. So the flow becomes
You need to be invited in, for a voluntary “opportunity to chat”.
Believing you have something worthwhile to say
If you build it, they will come.
If you don’t believe in your idea no one else will. You need to push it out. So you need to create your own “opportunity to chat”.
I thank you for reading this article and giving me the opportunity to chat to you. I hope you feel your time was well spent and I’d like to chat more with you. Tell me… what do you think of this article. Is there anything I can help you with? Let me know here.
Who can you work with to sell your idea for you?
You might consider someone else promoting the idea for you idea. If it’s a product or service, for example software, comparison websites such as Capterra will push you for a fee.
What can be easier is to work with people who do trusted comparisons for people already
- Your own Linked In contacts. Ask them for their opinion to see would it work for the business.
- Professional organisations with newsletters. You may have a useful message for many people
- Journalists writing for trade specific groups.
- Blogging websites such as hubspot where many people offer their opinion to people who might want it.
- Social media in general is a great way of reaching your own friends and family
- Consultants especially those who blog may be interested in exploring your concepts
- Help websites who specialise in answering questions. Stack Overflow for techies as an example.
The focus is to develop your “opportunity to chat”.
What the pros say about blogging
The Internet can help you reach people you may never have met in person. It throws your personality and your ideas out to the world so that if they want to hear from you they delve in.
Fearing blogging is self-aggrandizement is not true if you write truthfully.
If you want more people to hear your thoughts you need to do something for them though. https://copywritertoday.net/measuring-blog-writing-services/
Give the crowd what they want (also known as “knowing your audience”)
- Interesting topics
- An easy read.
- Opportunities to engage.
The imaginary conversation continues
When Google answers they create numerous opportunities to chat for numerous people.
If a person asks “What is the best CRM” and Google answered SalesForce as the only answer that would be a short conversation.
Google doesn’t. It comes back with many opportunities for a person to explore. You take what you want from their answer.
In our imaginary conversation if Person 2 works for SalesForce chances are the answer is going to be biased.
You might like Person 2 or they might be easy to listen to so you’ll hear them out anyway.
If a person sees a website that says “SalesForce is the best CRM” and the article is on the SalesForce website the reader knows instantly… it’s biased.
As with a computer, pleasantries don’t have to be observed, the conversation ends, the reader quickly moves to another article.
If Person 2 was an IT manager you might get a broader picture which might be more helpful with your question.
If it works
Person 1 sees an editorial or a blog and based on a couple of lines appearing in Google goes “I’ll have a quick look and see if this is going to be any use”.
If in the first few words you can give the user something useful they will go on to consume more information, if not the conversation ends.
Some companies can pay to increase their volume, such as paying for Ads to always appear top of Google’s list. Some people will only want the top answer no matter the bias so this works for an expensive subset. The people paying for the ads are effectively bribing people to let them talk. Paying for attention is a part of marketing’s role.
Most people making a decision will have a scan of the first few articles returned by the search engine. The top articles usually have a green Ad box around them an instant sign of bias. Going back to the wisdom of others “People don’t trust sales people”.
Those ads only get looked at if the user is looking for general information into what the product does. Sell yourself well in that short window of opportunity to chat.
If you would like to chat about any aspect of this article please get in touch with me here or on social media. I sincerely offer you the opportunity to chat to me if you are so inclined.