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Conversation Summary
An even more challenging translation is required by the prospects who do not give you honest answers to your want, need, and DBM queries. Another prospect shows  up  for  an  interview.  During  the  initial conversation you ask her how school is going, and she replies, “Okay, I guess, but I’ll be glad when it’s over. ” You get to the point of asking what she wants after graduation  from  high  school.  She  tells  you  that  she wants to get a college degree. You ask what she feels she needs, and she replies, “Nothing much, Mom and Dad will pay for everything.” She continues to tell you that  she  just  hasn’t  decided  on  a  college  yet,  even though she graduates next month. Some prospects are going to tell you what they feel they are expected to say. It is up to the recruiter to pick up on clues and get the real answers. If this prospect wants a college degree and the needs to that end are already met, why then has she come to the recruiting station?  Other  clues  are  that  she  will  be  glad  when school is out this year and she has not yet decided on a college. That procrastination should tell us that she has not been convinced that is what she really wants. At this point, we cannot challenge our prospect by saying we  don’t  believe  she  really  wants  a  college  degree. Instead, we can let her know that yes, a college degree is important. The Navy can certainly help her with it, but what else does she really want in life? The ability to translate what our prospects tell us is an art form that starts with good listening skills. CONVERSATION The purpose of the conversation step of the sale is to  get  the  prospect  listening  to  you  and  liking  you. There are no magic bridges in the conversation step. It should be a natural interaction between the recruiter and prospect  that  allows  them  both  to  relax  and  be comfortable with each other. You are getting to know the prospect and, just as importantly, the prospect is getting to know you. First impressions are important. People  normally  make  their  first  judgement  about someone they’ve just met within the first 7 seconds. That’s   not   long   to   impress   the   prospect,   but   a professional appearance, warm greeting, and genuine smile  can  make  a  positive  effect.  The  following paragraphs   provide   guidance   on   establishing   and maintaining rapport with   the   prospect,   some conversational ideas and rules, and the conversation summary. Establishing and Maintaining Rapport The  first  goal  in  the  conversation  step  is  to  set rapport. To accomplish that goal, the recruiter should keep in mind the primary rule in making a favorable first  impression  – to forget about yourself completely. Instead  of  thinking  about  your  own  nervousness,  think of the prospect’s and do everything within your power to relieve that discomfort. Your most valuable tool in establishing  and  maintaining  a  conversation  is  the question that requires more than a yes or no answer, an open-ended  question. Prospects   are   usually   more comfortable  when  they  can  participate  in  conversation by  answering  questions. CONVERSATION  IDEAS.–  Asking  open-ended questions about mutual interests or acquaintances can be a great conversation starter. You might start with an example-type  story  about  someone  you  know  who  went into the Navy who has something in common with the prospect. Use   exhibits, displays,   pictures,   or Navy-related  items  around  the  office  to  generate  a conversation. Curiosities, compliments, and services are all ideas you may want to try for openers. Some very successful  recruiters  like  to  use  a  trial  close  as  a conversational   starter.   They   ask   their   close   in   a lighthearted  way  that’s  easy  to  back  away  from  if needed.  An  example  would  be,  “We’ve  got  our  ship parked  out  back,  are  you  ready  to  get  aboard?”  or “Come  on  in,  I’ve  got  two  chairs  here,  one  for  those who are ready to join, and one for those who want to talk about the Navy a little first – take your pick.” The prospect  card,  itself,  can  be  a  great  conversational  tool when  used  correctly. CONVERSATIONAL RULES.–  Even  though  the conversation  step  of  the  sale  is  highly  individualized,  a few rules that everyone should follow to make this step fulfill  its  purpose  are  as  follows: l Listen carefully, providing verbal and physical feedback. l Smile – be relaxed and pleasant, l  Don’t  smoke. l Don’t handle your prospect. l  Watch  your  prospect’s  body  language  and  be aware  of  yours. l Don’t challenge your prospect’s beliefs. 6-25

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