Posted on: July 16th, 2010 by Jen Mueller

 Thanks  Maria from Banana Blossom Press for sharing her success story with me.  She attended a Talk Sporty event about 2 weeks ago and last week she put it into practice.  Maria, started a conversation with a baseball fan, after reading a headline regarding the Mariners trading Cliff Lee.  She simply repeated the information in the headline and she was off and running! The Mariners fan started talking and kept talking.  Maria didn’t know who Cliff Lee was when she started the conversation, but she learned everything she needed to know just by listening.  I couldn’t be more proud!

 Hannah from Buzzbee shared with me yesterday over coffee that she landed more business as a result of World Cup soccer.  She is a huge soccer fan and cheered loudest for the Netherlands.  She and a client started commiserating over the loss to Spain in the championship game.  According to Hannah, the conversation enabled both her and the client to engage on a more personal level.  As the conversation was wrapping up the client casually mentioned he was sending over more work for her.  Wow!  Talk about a huge score and a perfect example of how Talk Sporty leads to greater success at work.  The client feels more comfortable with Hannah because they have something in common outside of work interests.  As a result he likes talking to her, he gets a sense that he knows her and he already trusts the work she did.  Remember people to business with people they know, like and trust.  That conversation went a long way in ensuring that client will continue to use Buzzbee.  Way to go Hannah!

And finally, a little success story of my own.  I played golf for the first time in my life Monday.  For years, I’ve said that I’m waiting for patience and money before taking up the sport.  Turns out all I needed was my boss to tell me that I was playing golf on Monday.  That got me on the course.  It was a great day.  (Notice I didn’t say it was a great round.)   But I was more than a little nervous when I got to the course.  There were so many things that were foreign to me.  Things that most golfers take for granted, like knowing which club to use, were stressful decisions for me.   Early in the day I decided it would be best to try and follow the group and try to limit my questions.  (There was really no need to embarrass myself further, since my golf game generated plenty of laughter.)  And you know what?  It worked.  There were a few things that I needed to clarify, but just participating and getting out there proved to be a huge learning experience and growth opportunity.  This weekend I’m not only hitting the driving range but I’m taking a greater interest in the British Open.  That will be a great conversation starter with a few of my co-workers next week.

It’s scary stepping out of your comfort zone.  Trust me, I understand.  Monday was a vivid reminder of how it feels to push my limits.  But if you’ll embrace that uncomfortable feeling it pays off in the end.  Is that the way you feel about starting a sports conversation?  There’s nothing to worry about.  You’ll be great – much better than my golf game.