Win the “You Game” for business success

Win the

Here the “You” is not you, it’s the person you are talking to. Read on and hopefully all will become clear.

How often have you met someone at a networking event, business mixer or just socially who talks and talks about themselves and their business and never asks about you or gives you an opportunity to talk about yourself? That person is losing the “You Game” badly – they are only interested in winning the “Me Game”.

What is the You Game?

The You Game is a game you play when you meet new people. The other person doesn’t know they are in the game but they can only benefit from it because the aim of the game is to find out all about them first. Showing an interest in people (a genuine interest, mind you – no faking it here) lets you find out how you can help them and being able to help is a major step in developing a business relationship. Helping them doesn’t necessarily mean they buy something from you; there are many different ways you can help them.

The You Game helps to break the ice

A lot of us have a morbid fear of meeting new people and this can harm our chances of business success. We risk missing out on opportunities to meet new business contacts. What are we afraid of? Well, often we claim that we are worried about what to say when we first meet these new people. We worry about having something interesting to say and of looking foolish if we aren’t interesting. But remember, by being interested in the other person you are automatically interesting to them.

Stop worrying and ask some questions

So why not take all the worry out of it by just walking up to them and saying “Hi, I’m (whatever your name is)”, then ask them a question. Nothing too complicated; old standards are fine. How about “have you been here before?”, or, at a business mixer, maybe be more direct with “what kind of business are you in?”. At this point you’re straight into the You Game as the clear leader and the conversation is under way. The ice is broken and the conversation is going well because you aren’t worrying about what you are going to say – you are just listening and asking them about themselves. Don’t forget, everyone loves talking about themselves with people who are interested.

What if they don’t ask about you? It doesn’t matter – it’s their loss. You know you’re the winner.

Play the You Game in the right spirit

Don’t think of the You Game as a manipulative way to get people to ask about you so you can deliver your pitch. Do it in a spirit of genuine interest and helpfulness. People can spot someone who is not listening and who is only waiting for their turn to speak, so if you don’t do this out of genuine interest in the other person it won’t work. Practise being interested in other people that you meet and don’t worry about what’s in it for you. Also, don’t grill them – it’s not an interrogation. If you meet lots of people and they get to know, like and trust you then the business will follow, either directly from those people or others who are referred to you.

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