Talking to Different People

Different groups of people respond to radically different kinds of approaches. I am painting a broad brushstroke here for the sake of demonstration. When I meet with a business person for the first time they often want to have a short concise meeting that starts on time and ends in 30 to 45 minutes. They often want an executive highlight and a rehearsed elevator pitch. They typically want to know a lot about the purpose of each meeting and expect me to make my presentation and get on my way. When I talk with people who have been retired for a while they want to have a longer conversation. These conversations often involve listening and asking listening questions. It is important that I allow them time to talk about their life and where they are coming from. Being respectful of the flow of the conversation and trying not to rush things is important.

As we have conversations with different kinds of donors it is really valuable to be attentive to whom you are with. Do you get a feeling that they want you to talk more or listen more? Is being time efficient or taking your time more important?


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