Five dangers that we need to avoid when it comes to the Bridge Talk™ and they're like potholes in the road of a relationship. So let's look at them quickly here. They're simple, but they're critical. The first is permission. If you get into a conversation where you're trying to sell or provide all kinds of information and you haven't received permission yet, it's not going to be well-received. People aren't looking for an industry brain dump at this point. And as we said earlier, they were probably just being polite when they asked you what you do. However, when they do give you that permission, it all changes.
The second thing is stereotypes. We want to avoid stereotypes as best we can. If you think about the way the brain works or more accurately, the memory, it's a series of coat hooks. And each of them has a little label underneath. So I receive a coat. I'm going to put it on a mental coat hook and my brain needs to put a label there. And it could only have one label. And so you have to decide what's the label going to be? And if you say, "I'm a financial advisor." They go, "Oh, I know what that is. I've got a stock broker." Well, that's not the same as a financial advisor, but the brain doesn't care. It handled it. So if you say, "I sell insurance." Their brain's going to be, "Oh, okay. I know about insurance people." And they go to whatever historical reference point they have about insurance. So we want to avoid stereotypes because they're going to put you in a bucket that you don't belong in before you even get a chance to start the relationship.
The third is we do not want to be gimmicky. We don't want to trap them. We don't want to force them into mental games or puzzles or traps. We're not trying to trick them. We're not going to sound gimmicky. You're a professional. You're an expert. And we want them to see you that way. The fourth one may sound a little obvious when I say it, but it's really important. It's being irrelevant to them. For example, when someone says, "What do you do?" And you go into a deep technical explanation, thinking that they actually wanted to know in that moment, you probably became irrelevant to them. Now, one, because they may not know what you're talking about. They may not have the vocabulary. And two, they may not have the interest. You're irrelevant. They'll tune you out right away. Probably politely, but right away.
And the fifth danger that we face is if you start selling. This is not the time to sell. This is opening the relationship, not closing a deal. And you don't even know anything about them yet so how can you sell them something? We want to slow it down a little bit and instead of the attention being on us and talking about what we do and who we are and our clever language of why we're important to you and here's what you should get or here's what you should act on. Instead, we want to make the conversation about them, but not in any sort of evasive way. We want to do it in a way that's thoughtful. So those are the five dangers to avoid in the Bridge Talk.
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