So many of us in our lives have a script that we follow, whether we are conscious of it or not. It’s our safety net that offers familiarity and a sense of security. But what if you get off script and starting asking new questions? What if you stopped listening to respond and really started listening? It can be scary to go off script, but that is when true connection happens.
Why Magic Happens When You Get Off Script
When I was a sports agent, I regularly had people pitching me, pitching our clients, our coaches, our baseball players, our broadcasters, etc. Whether it was financial advisors, insurance, or endorsement opportunities, it was happening all the time.
I remember once I had a coach up in the office sourcing new financial advisors.
The first financial advisor walks in and he has a 45-minute meeting with our coach. He greets the coach, and then he sits down and pulls this brochure out of his briefcase and opens it up. It’s a really beautifully made brochure and he’s dressed to the nines, the whole thing. However, as he starts going through this brochure I watched the coach completely check out.
And then a woman came in next and she sits down and she pops open her laptop. Again, it’s a great presentation and she shares her incredible credentials, but the coach remains uninterested.
Finally, the third guy walks in and I’ll never forget it. He looks at the coach and he says, “Before we dig in tell me this, what’s your philosophy on money? Who taught you about money? What’s your philosophy on money and investing?” The coach became completely engaged and shared his thoughts with the financial advisor for 20 minutes.
Be Relational, Not Transactional
Because the third financial advisor was able to get off script and authentically engage the coach in a meaningful conversation, he could now be what I call an authentic chameleon. He could lean into the information that mattered most to the coach to create a connection and make an impact.
Oftentimes I would see people stick to their script, their presentation, or their credentials, but what happens when we do that is we have too much of a transactional approach. We’re not as relational as we need to be.
It’s scary to get off script, isn’t it? But that is where connection happens. When we’re relational, rather than transactional we shift from communication to connection.
My Challenge to You
Here’s what I would challenge you to do. Trust your preparation. Trust your ability to ask great questions and then listen, really listen, because then you can find ways to connect not just communicate.
When you walk into a meeting with someone here are the four things that they’re thinking:
- Do I like you?
- Do I ever want to see you again?
- Are you somebody that I feel like I can trust?
- Can you really help solve this problem that we’re meeting about?
When you are pitching someone, lean into answering those questions for them authentically. Have the courage to get off script because that’s when we connect and that’s when we can serve.
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The Molly Fletcher Company inspires leaders, teams and organizations to up their game. A keynote speaker and author, Molly draws on her decades of experiences working as a sports agent. Her company offers training and coaching programs to help leaders unleash their potential, including: Game Changer Negotiation Training, which teaches business people a framework for successful negotiating; The Energized Leader training, which teaches people how to manage their energy to achieve focus and freedom; and a monthly coaching program, Game Changer Leadership Huddles, to help members recharge their purpose and mindset. Sign up to receive our newsletter, subscribe to the Game Changers with Molly Fletcher podcast, and watch her TED Talk on The Secrets to a Champion Mindset.