From Friendly Conversation To Moment of Influence

ImageHandshakes, conversations, choosing to engage, expanding your social network — these are all vital capabilities of someone who chooses Social Excellence as a lifestyle. But Social Excellence has never been about just making more friends and knowing more people. Social Excellence is about doing something. It is about contributing to society. It is about being a leader, a change agent, someone who changes the world.

Can you turn a friendly conversation into a moment of influence?

For most people, just creating a good personal connection is hard enough. But Social Excellence isn’t what most people choose. If you choose Social Excellence, a strong personal connection is an awesome accomplishment, but it isn’t enough. You want to turn the conversation to be about more than you and your conversation partner(s). You want to turn the conversation to something productive, something action-oriented, something purposeful.

Can you make the turn?

Imagine you’re chatting away with someone in line at the grocery store about how ridiculous “Us Weekly,” “The National Enquirer” and other tabloids are. Can you turn that conversation to the topic of the new non-profit you’re working to create?

Imagine you’re watching the big game with some new friends. Can you find a moment during halftime to naturally turn the conversation to the event your organization is putting on next week?

Imagine you’re chatting with your barista at the local cafe, and he asks you about that lapel pin you’re wearing. Can you turn that moment of curiosity into a new visitor to your next group meeting?

Here’s how NOT to do it… “These tabloids all make it seem like aliens could impregnate any of us at any moment. Also, I’m starting a new non-profit and I’m going to tell you all about it right now, so stay real quiet while I talk at you excitedly for a while.” You’re just as bad as the tabloids.

Here’s the trick. Don’t try too hard. You don’t actually want to tell the person you’ve just connected with everything there is to know about your cause, your purpose, your organization, your product, or whatever you’re angling for. All you want, is a time to connect again soon.

“Hey, this has been a real nice conversation. It makes me think you and I might connect about more stuff. I know people don’t normally do this, but I’m working on a project I think you might be interested in. Could we exchange contact information so that we could continue our conversation? I think people should connect more.”

“Great game so far. Hey, what are you doing Tuesday night?  You’re free? Perfect. Give me your cell number, I’ll test you some information about this thing that’s happening downtown. We’ll talk about it later, but I think you’ll love it.”

“Oh, thanks for asking about my pin. It’s an organization that’s really important to me. I love telling people about it. What do you know about ______[insert cause]? Let me buy you coffee sometime so I can learn more about your experience.”

What’s the question, statement, or method YOU use to turn an everyday connection into a moment of influence?