As an insurance agent, you never know who your next client could be. It’s part of your job to be a people person. Whether you’re dealing with clients, coworkers, a boss, or networking, being able to strike up a quality conversation is an essential skill. Follow these tips and try them out with the next new person you meet!
Holding a conversation is more than an exchange of words. It starts with a greeting or introduction and continues with participants taking turns being the speaker and the listener. You are not a great conversationalist if you’re always the one doing the talking. An effective conversationalist is someone who proposes questions that encourages the other person to tell more about themselves. One of the most powerful phrases you can say is, “Tell me about yourself.” That phrase opens the door to unlimited conversational options and eliminates the overused statement, “What do you do?” The trick to keep the conversation going is to stay engaged, show interest, and ask questions.
It can be tempting to want to match what someone is talking about with a similar experience of your own. Although it is not rude to do so, it can turn into a habit. Some people struggle with talking too much or anticipating what they will say once it’s their turn to speak. If you’re doing this, you’re not really listening to the other person.
Basic Tips for Conversation
- When conversing with more than one other person, always make sure the third person is properly introduced.
- Listen more than you speak.
- Be conscious of body language.
- Engage in the conversation and ask questions.
- Listen actively to learn more about the other person.
The next time you start a conversation with someone new, try out the phrase, “Tell me about yourself,” and be aware of how you respond to what the person says. You may be surprised by what you learn. Do you have a go-to icebreaker or conversation tip? Let us know in the comments below.