Okay…you REALLY loved the last blog article I released…
I received a ton of feedback on this article!
If you didn’t catch it, last week I met this really cool guy—very successful—he’d built and sold a few businesses. I was pumping him for information about what he does in his area of expertise (corporate training), and he mentioned a thing called, “Transfer Strategies.” I learned that he had a name for something that I’d always tried to do personally. Not only did he have a name for it, he’s built a lot of thought and structure around it.
A Transfer Strategy is:
The process a person utilizes to take proven skillsets, best practices or mindsets that are being taught (or are discovered) and relate them to their own business model, then use them.
I received a ton of feedback on the training article via email over the last few days. I am actually writing one additional training article on the subject of transfer strategies, however, one of our long time subscribers from southern California asked the question below:
“Hey, Joe, you always seem to meet the most interesting people and you always talk about how you get ‘nuggets of wisdom’ from them. How do you go about doing this? I’m not sure I’m very good at it. Do you have any nuggets for how you get all your nuggets?”
What a great question!
And, YES, I do have a few nuggets for you on how I find the nuggets.
I decided to sit down and map out how I ENGAGE a person. Typically, I will meet a person at a professional meeting, maybe over a breakfast, lunch or dinner, and then I would talk them up. But not really “talk” them up. It’s more like I LISTEN them up. Perhaps during the salad course they start telling me what they are into—what they do—and the floodgates open.
You probably don’t have enough acronyms in your life, so I’m going to hand you one more.
It just worked out that S.A.L.A.D. spells out exactly what I do when I get into a scenario where I may not be the smartest person in the room, which works out to be quite often. It also correlates to exactly what I do when the waiter places the salad course in front of us in one of these meetings.
I actually use the salad course to take a S.A.L.A.D. Course.
So let’s go through this:
S – SEEK out
When I get into a room I look for a friendly face—somebody smiling, laughing or already talking. People like this already want to talk. I don’t have to prime the pump that much. So I steer clear of the grumpy dudes and chicks that are standing with their backs up against the wall, staring blankly at their mobile device like a moron. I’m looking for my ray of sunshine. I’m trying to find someone that looks like they have something going on, and would be easy to talk to.
When I locate that type of person, I simply ask, “Do you mind if I sit here?”
A – ASK them about their favorite subject
Next—and this may sound too obvious—I begin to engage them by asking them questions about themselves. I’ll introduce myself, normally just my first name, but I resist the temptation to tell them what I do and all that stuff. I figure they don’t really care anyway. I know from experience that their favorite subject is themselves, so I get them talking about their stuff, not mine. I will typically ask, “So tell me about your area of expertise,” or I will inquire, “What sort of professional work are you involved in.”
You’d be amazed at how willing they are to launch. It’s like pulling the string on a Chatty Kathy doll.
L – LISTEN carefully to them
This may also sound too obvious, but what comes next for me is to LISTEN. I make it a habit to be totally present. I hang on every word, totally focused on what they are saying. This skill is rare. 95% of the rest of the world may ask a question (because they are told that this is how you network) but they really don’t listen carefully to the response. The reason they don’t is because they’re self-centered and they are impatiently waiting for their turn to talk or to pitch. It’s amazing to observe this. You have no idea how many so-called professional salespeople don’t know how to F-ing listen. It blows me away.
A – ASK open ended follow up questions
So, now I have them on a roll and I’m carefully listening. What I’m listening for is something that genuinely interests me. Something they do, or are involved in that fascinates me. Like the guy with the transfer strategies, I became interested in part of what he was doing for a living. It teed me up to ask a follow up question or two. The additional questions may sound like this; “That’s new to me. Can you tell me more about how that actually works in your practice,” or I might say, “I’m very interested in that. When you do that, what is usually the result for your client?”
What I’m trying to do is to get the person to go deeper so I can get to the good stuff. By this point in the conversation, they really like me and they don’t even know why. But the reason they like me is very simple. I’m different. I am asking them about themself versus telling them how bitchin’ I am.
D – DIRECT the conversation to the nugget you want
Once I get them on a roll, and I get them telling me all about their work—and they like me and don’t know why—I begin to focus the conversation on the nugget that I want to get more information on. I begin to drill down and direct the conversation and questions to the thing they are doing, teaching, or have experienced in a previous life, that I think I can use, repurpose, or rob + duplicate. They are down their rabbit hole and I chase them even deeper down that hole with my follow up questions.
I am directing the flow of conversation to the stuff that they do that can be called their genius work. The reason I do this is that I want them to tell me the stuff that is really specific to what they do. Often these are the trade secrets that took them years to figure out or uncover.
These are the nuggets!
I’m getting the value of years and years of their vast wisdom and knowledge, and I’m getting it in less than three minutes during the salad course, even before the entrée is served.
Again, the reason they’ll tell me all of this stuff is that they really like me and they don’t know why. However, the reason they like me is straightforward, I’ve taken a genuine interest in them and what they do. The last ten guys that sat next to them didn’t ask them about who they are and what they do. The last ten guys just tried to impress them—telling them how smart they are, what college they went to, or how well they are doing financially.
So there ya go.
There are a few nuggets on how you find the nuggets.
Go try this and tell me how it works for you—tell me about the nuggets you find out there, just by being a nice and inquisitive person during the salad course.
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Joe Buzzello is a nationally recognized expert on the roles of direct selling, entrepreneurialism and leadership. He has built legacy sales teams and experienced unprecedented success in individual and business-to-business markets as well as the network marketing industry. Joe has held executive level positions for Fortune 500 companies, but he has never strayed far from the art and science of selling, which he loves. In early 2014, Joe began writing, speaking, and coaching through his platform, www.joebuzzello.com and The CAP Equation©.