You may have grown up being told not to talk to strangers. So, it's likely no surprise to you that when we encourage our clients and students to do just that, it can make people squirm. Which perfectly illustrates our point.
Talking to strangers is pretty uncomfortable for a lot of people. In many cases, it goes against what was ingrained in our psyches since childhood.
However, this discomfort is likely something that is not only holding you back in business, it's likely holding you back in life in general. Business is all about relationships. The quality of your relationships will determine the quality of your business.
As we teach members of the Big Dream Primer, there will be many points in our businesses where we have to stretch ourselves outside of what and who we know to learn new things and meet new people. The only way to meet new people (and therefore forge new relationships!) is to talk to strangers.
Tips for Talking to Strangers (that will help you talk to sponsors):
- To practice, make a point of talking to at least one stranger every day.
- Go beyond “hello” or “how's your day?” Compliment someone or ask open-ended questions that elicit conversation.
- Crack a joke and get real with people. Laughter breaks down barriers.
- Get personal, ask them more than, “What do you do?” Ask them, “What makes you excited to get up in the morning?”
I can't tell you how often I've been talking to a stranger and found out that we know at least one person in common. Not to mention, the number of times I've been talking to a stranger in line, on an airplane, or while waiting at a doctor's office, and it turns out that they are just the person that I need to be talking to!
Strangers have the potential to help me with a project I'm working on, or they can introduce me to someone who can. They may want to hire me, or perhaps they have a service or product that I need.
I've even found partners and sponsors by talking to complete strangers. I've hired a team member by talking to strangers, and conversely, I've been able to connect strangers with someone they need to know or help them in some way.
As if these aren't reason enough to talk to strangers, I'll give you a few more. We have an entire strategy and guided exercise for talking to strangers in the Big Dream Primer that REALLY gets you in the zone of connecting with people in positive ways.
Stretching yourself (especially if you're a little shy) by talking to people you've never met, gets you out of your comfort zone. I don't know about you, but everything worthwhile that I've ever done has involved getting out of my comfort zone. Even if it's just a little.
The Benefits of Talking to Strangers:
- Exposes you to new perspectives you might otherwise never get
- Opens up opportunities and possibilities
- Expands your network
- Gives you great stories to tell (you'd never believe some of the strangers I've talked to!)
- Makes life more interesting
So, if you're looking for new ways to grow, expand yourself and your network, build new relationships, and make new connections... get out there and talk to some strangers today.