I am a kind of introverted person. After becoming a foreign trade clerk, I always have a problem with communication with customers. It’s all right in the workplace. But on some casual occasions, I always can’t find a suitable topic. Even if there is a topic, I often cannot communicate in depth. I always bring the topic to an end in a few words. In this case, the atmosphere is so dull when it comes to dinner with the customer. In fact, my oral English and listening are good. But I am not good at expression. How can I improve this situation?
Many people feel that the lack of communication with customers is caused by language barriers. In fact, it is not exactly. The foreign language itself is just a tool, and the key is to find the right topic for both sides. If the two sides can’t always talk together, no matter how high the foreign language level is, it will not help.
On some casual occasions, you can talk about topics that most people might be interested in, such as food, history, architecture, sports, hobbies, etc. Don’t be expressionless when you are talking. For example, when it comes to music, you can exaggerate a little and say, “Oh, I love it, when I was a university student, I often sang this song…” You can even sing a few words. In this way, the atmosphere will be more active and harmonious. When it comes to traveling, you can ask the other side which cities he has been to, how it feels, how the climate is, and whether the food there is good. Sometimes you need to match some gestures and expressions according to the situation so that you can interact with him.
Of course, you can communicate with customers by understanding the history and cultural background of foreign countries. But most importantly, you need to know some current information. At least you need to know what happened recently. In addition to describing events, it is best to have some simple comments. This makes people feel that you have your own ideas and opinions.
When communicating with people, you should try not to argue if the other person’s views are opposed to yours. You can say that he’s reasonable, giving you some new ideas to understand the problem.
Besides, try not to involve religious and personal privacy in communication in order to avoid unnecessary trouble.
When you can’t find a topic, you can ask the other person some questions that are easy to answer, such as his forecast of the economic trend or the market in the coming year, etc. Most people can say for a few minutes about this question, and you can add them. Then you can get moving.
When you are talking, you should look into the other party’s eyes. You should interact with each other by nodding, smiling, frowning, and so on. If you raise a topic, the other person does not respond. In that way, he may not be interested in it, or he may not know much about it. Then, you should change the topic.
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