When Striking Up A Conversation, Think F.O.R.M. * Sonia Holt

When Striking Up A Conversation, Think F.O.R.M.

Family – Occupation – Recreation – Money

You’re at a social gathering and you want to start a conversation with someone who could potentially be a prospect.  Before you do, be clear on your objective or goal, such as wanting to:

  1. Identify a need
  2. Understand their situation
  3. Offer a solution

When you’re talking to someone, even if it’s someone you know – don’t make assumptions.  Let them open up to you

Let them tell you their situation so that you can easily identify how you can help them

How do you get them to talk about themselves?  By using F O R M to structure your conversation

  • F  Family
  • O  Occupation
  • R  Recreation
  • M  Money

Start with Occupation first.  It's the easiest topic to talk about.

People are comfortable talking about what they do.  Continue the conversation by asking questions.

For example, you might be speaking to a Real Estate Agent

  • You might ask:  “How long have you been in real estate?”

(If a long time)  “You must really love what you do.”

  Possible replies:  Oh, it’s a job; it pays the bills, or I love it!

  •     If they've been in their current position less than a year or two:

“What did they do prior to real estate?”

  “Why the change to real estate?”

  • Then dig a little deeper:

“What is it that you like about your job?”

“If there was something you could change what would it be?”

 This will tell you about their likes and dislikes.  (Be sure to write down some notes afterward so you’ll recall what their hot buttons are.)

Next, the conversation usually turns to Family

Ask if they’re married.  If so, “what does your spouse do?

Do they have kids?   How many?  What are their ages?

Understanding more about their lifestyle helps you prepare a solution for them.

 Then ask what they do for Recreation

“Sounds like you love your job and have a great family. What do you guys do for fun?” or “What do you guys like to do most?”

This will give some idea what’s important to them and what’s not.

They might reply:  “Haven’t been able to go on vacation for a long time work too much, don't have time, or we can't afford to go on a vacation.”

All these pieces of information allow you to form a way to offer your solution.

SofiLayla / Pixabay

Usually, money comes up somewhere in the conversation.  If not, ask.

“If you were to make an additional income, ideally how much money would you like to make?”

“What amount would make a difference?”  “How would things be different?”

Keep asking questions until you find a solid reason why you should offer your product or service.

If you don’t identify a need before you talk about your product or service you become a commercial.  It's sort of spammy.  It becomes more about your needs and

It becomes more about your needs and you wanting to sell something rather than their need and a solution for them.

Don’t become a commercial promoting your company and products.  You want to provide value.  Find a need and then offer a solution.

Finding out what kind of income they're looking for gives you a good gauge on how big they like to dream.  What is it that they really want.

Do they want to make $1 million or $300 a  month?  There's no right or wrong answer. It’s all valid and important to their situation.

Since you are in a social situation, keep it light.  Coming across as a presentation or interview might scare some people away.

Remember, this doesn’t have to happen all in one conversation.  It can be done during the course of the evening, or if this is a relationship you'd like to nurture, it can be done over a period of time.

Obviously, there will be times when you are making a presentation, then it can be more formal.  But if you’re in a social gathering or with family and friends or even on social media, remember it’s a chat, not an interrogation.  Just a normal conversation.

Try to jot down some notes afterward.  Things like, what you talked about; what products or services you suggested, etc.

So, to recap… when you start a conversation have your goal in mind:

  • Identify a need
  • Understand their situation
  • Offer a solution

Think F.O.R.M.

  • Family
  • Occupation
  • Recreation
  • Money

And don’t forget it’s a conversation… make it fun and entertaining!



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