Word of Mouth Archives - Page 10 of 10 - Dr. Ivan Misner®

5 Laws and 5 Flaws of Conversation from ‘The Mingling Maven’

My good friend Susan RoAne recently joined me as a fellow member of the iLearningGlobal.tv faculty and, as I was talking to her about the content she plans to contribute to the iLearningGlobal.tv website, I was suddenly struck with the memory of a great section from her book, How to Work a Room, which talks about casual conversation when networking.

If you have a chance to read the book, I highly recommend it because there are tons of great networking tips throughout the entire book. Not only will you get a great education on networking, you’ll be laughing from beginning to end. That’s one thing anyone who has met Susan knows about her–she’s hilarious!

However, since my blog isn’t supposed to be about my friend Susan’s witty sense of humor (Maybe I’ll start a blog devoted to that later . . . kidding, Susan! :)) and it IS supposed to be about helping you become a better networker, I’ll go ahead and let the excerpt from How to Work a Room which I’ve been alluding to tell you about the five laws and five flaws of conversation:

Five Fundamental Laws of Casual Conversation

  • Be a conversational chameleon. Adapt conversation to the individual by age, interest, profession.
  • Be a name dropper. Always mention the names of people or places you could have in common.
  • Borrow other people’s lives. Share the stories, comments and quips of your friends who have kids, have websites, are tai kwon do students, are Xtreme athletes, have opera tickets–even if you don’t.
  • Be a two-timer. Give people a second chance.
  • Be nice to everyone. Don’t judge tomorrow’s book by today’s cover.

Fatal Flaws of Casual Conversation

  • Being unprepared by not reading papers, trade journals and information sources
  • Controlling conversations by asking a barrage of questions, no matter how open-ended, or telling a nonstop series of jokes
  • Complaining (kvetching); bragging
  • One-upping/competing, interrupting, not listening, slinging put-downs
  • Offering unsolicited feedback

Get Engaged . . .

Get engaged in the conversation, that is! OK, OK . . . now that I have your attention, let me explain.

In my book Truth or Delusion I bring up the point that word-of-mouth marketing is always working, it just may not be working in your favor. Believe it or not, you’re getting word of mouth every day. It just may not be the kind you’re thinking of–the good kind. The thing is, negative word of mouth has legs and the average dissatisfied customer gripes to 11 people about his experience, and these 11 in turn tell five others apiece.

Therefore, you need to get engaged in the networking process and the resulting conversation by formulating a strategic plan to control what’s being said about you. Among other things, this is done by focusing on good customer service to reduce negative word-of-mouth and ensuring that your marketing message is conveyed accurately so your prospects know what to expect.

It’s especially important to be engaged in the conversation when it comes to online networking. Take the headline of this blog, for example. Say somebody were to see it, not read the rest of the blog, and then begin posting comments on blogs and social networking sites all over the web claiming that “Ivan Misner has a new blog urging people everywhere to get married!”

You may be laughing, but occurrences like I just described happen all the time. And guess what? If you’re one of those people who refuses to get involved in “that online/social networking stuff,” then you aren’t engaged in the conversations that are being had about you online. And when somebody says something negative or incorrect about you or your business, you can’t redirect the conversation in a positive direction to save face or correct what’s been wrongly stated about you.

Whether networking online or face-to-face, the dialogue is going to happen with or without you. The basic point is, if you don’t participate in the conversation, you’re not in control whatsoever. If you do participate, then you can publicly say who you are and steer the conversation in a positive way.

Check out this recent blog entry by my friend Dave Goetz, “They are Laughing at You.” It’s a perfect illustration of everything I’ve talked about in this blog and it tells a GREAT story about a college professor who refused to engage his students in any way as he endlessly lectured to them for hours. It’s no surprise that the students found a way to engage each other in conversation during class but the professor lost all control of what topics were being focused on as well as what was being said . . . Like I said, the dialogue will happen with or without you.

Word of Mouth, a Growing Segment in Advertising

According to a recent PQ Media research report, many major brands are increasing their word-of-mouth marketing campaigns despite the worst recession in decades.

Last year, companies increased their word of mouth advertising efforts by more than 14 percent, to more than $1.54 billion. Furthermore, according to the report, spending on WOM campaigns is expected to reach as much as $3 billion by the year 2013.

PQ Media defines WOM marketing as “an alternative marketing strategy supported by research and technology, which encourages consumers to dialogue about products and services through various online and offline tactics, often facilitated by brand ambassadors.”

“The most invluential marketer in a consumer’s life is someone they know and trust, such as a family member, friend or colleague,” according to Patrick Quinn, president & CEO of PQ Media.

Developing WOM communities both online and offline is part of an emerging trend. What are you doing to participate in this trend? I’d love to hear your feedback on this important and growing element in business.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
1 8 9 10
   Follow Me

Get every new post delivered to your inbox