A friend shared how he really struggled with holiday gatherings and social events. He just didn’t have the gift of “small talk” and didn’t know how to do it well.
The problem was he specialized in luxury real estate and his client base was high net worth individuals who loved to gather in social circles. He was always being invited to social functions and fundraising events but dreaded having to work so hard at making conversation with these people. He shared how he discovered a simple and powerful technique that changed his “small talk” dilemma for life which in turn dramatically impacted his business for the better.
A simple acronym called F.O.R.D. which stands for Family… Occupation… Recreation and Dreams. Whenever he came face to face with a client for the first time and one of those awkward social “small talk” moments. F.O.R.D. came to his rescue.
1) Family – Where did they grow up? Where is their family now? Do they have any siblings? Do they have any children? Now focus on their answers… ask more questions… sit back and listen.
2) Occupation – What do they do for a living? How long have they been in that occupation? What did they do before? Now focus on their answers… ask more questions… sit back and listen.
3) Recreation – What do they do for fun? Hobbies? Passions? Something they always wanted to try or do? Now focus on their answers… ask more questions… sit back and listen (beginning to see a pattern here?)
4) Dreams – What is on your bucket list? Your dreams? Goals? Aspirations? Now focus on their answers… ask more questions… sit back and listen
This simple but powerful tool called F.O.R.D. would help engage his clients, deepen his relationship with them and show he cares. This powerful technique then sets the stage for him to share what he does for a living and causes the other party to be receptive. It is also a powerful “confidence booster” to shine amongst people rather than dread the whole experience.
World renowned communicator Dale Carnegie said “The world’s greatest conversationalist, is someone who says little or nothing.” Isn’t it nice when someone says to you I feel like I could talk to you forever or I feel like we have known each other for some time now.