Summer Reading for the Beach, Lakefront, Poolside & Beyond
If I had to recommend only one book every small business owner should include on their summer reading list, it would be: Conversationally Speaking: Tested New Ways to Increase Your Personal and Social Effectiveness by Alan Garner.
It’s definitely worth the time for anyone who needs to start or keep a conversation going, e.g., consultant, vendor/supplier, small business owner of any kind, parent, husband/wife, etc.
Why? Because, beyond this being a helpful and easy to read business book, by optimizing your personal communication skills, your small business will likely grow faster.
What’s more, if you’re a consultant-type such as a financial advisor, lawyer or hairstylist, when you communicate effectively with customers, you’ll create additional opportunities to increase income.
Also, it’s important to note that Garner’s recommendations are based upon hundreds of research studies. Furthermore, his book is in its third edition, ensuring that the information is up to date.
Two Highly Relevant Chapters for Consultants
While I enjoyed reading Garner’s entire book, there are two chapters I believe you’ll find particularly helpful, including: Starting Conversations and Issuing Invitations That Are Likely to Be Accepted.
For consultants, improving how you initially start a conversation increases the likelihood of acquiring even more business from the get-go. In terms of issuing invitations, Garner describes a dual perspective approach that, when used effectively, will increase your invitation acceptance rates.
Additionally, Learn How To:
- Ask questions that promote conversation
- Reduce anxiety in social settings
- Handle criticism productively
- Listen so others will talk
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Self-Disclosing a Key Chapter
One of my favorite chapters is on self-disclosing. Essentially, self-disclosing is the information you share in order for a person to create a framework of the type of relationship they want to have with you.
Garner says, “If you find that your relationships often die before they really get going, it may be that you aren’t telling others enough about who you are.” He adds that it’s unrealistic to expect strangers to care about you.
He says, “If you fail to self-disclose, your conversational partners will for a time consider you mysterious and be intrigued. But before long, they’ll probably become frustrated by your lack of reciprocity and will conclude that you really aren’t interested in getting to know them, have little going for you, or are a member of the Mafia.” (As you can see, he includes a bit of humor in his book, making it that much more enjoyable.) 🙂
Most of us hear over and over again that we need to be better listeners. However, to build the type of trust that leads to generating more customers, we first must find the right balance between listening and sharing. Garner explains how.
Conversationally Speaking is
P.S. Don’t forget your sunscreen.
Additional Summer Marketing Resources
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