So, it would intuitively seem that in order to impress them and attract them to you, you should be prepared with your elevator pitch or “defining statement” that immediately communicates why they would want to get to know you better.
Intuitive, perhaps? But, highly counterproductive.
Want to quickly elicit the know, like and trust feelings toward you that will help you to make a powerful and impactful first impression? Then take the focus totally off of yourself and place it totally on them.
Yes, invest 99.9 percent of the conversation in asking them questions about themselves and their business, their family, their interests.
When you make them feel good about themselves they are more likely to want to get to know you. They are also much more inclined to like you. And to trust you, as well. Really, when you think of it, there is rarely a more effective way to do this than by being genuinely interested in them.
Consider this: Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who let you do practically all the talking? Did you leave the conversation thinking to yourself, “What a fascinating conversationalist that person is?!” You also probably felt really good about him or her, as well, didn’t you?
You can be that great conversationalist and steer this new interaction toward the beginnings of a powerful and mutually beneficial relationship.
So, what about those questions we mentioned above?
You can ask them about their families. Generally speaking, most people love to talk about their family; their talented spouse, or student-athletic son or daughter. You usually can’t go wrong here. Of course, make sure you don’t try and “one-up” them by bragging about how your child did something even cuter or more outstanding than theirs.
What about their occupations? They will most likely enjoy being asked questions such as “How did you get started?” or “What do you enjoy most about what you do?” I call these type of questions Feel-Good Questions® because they simply cause the person to feel good when they answer them.
Powerful: If they are in some type of sales, ask: “How can I know if someone I’m speaking with is a good prospect for you?” Wow!
Ask them about their recreation. The chances are the reason they ski, travel, read, or whatever else they do is that it brings them great pleasure. And, when you ask them about it, it brings good feelings about you.
Finally, are they involved in something they consider to be life-fulfilling; perhaps a charity or cause to which they are dedicating a lot of their lives? If so, they’ll be more than delighted to discuss that with you.
But, what about you? Shouldn’t you say something about yourself that will cause them to want to know more about you; to get to know you better; to desire to further this new friendship? Isn’t there something you can say that will cause you to immediately have more influence with them?
Yes, there is. And, you just did it. You did it through asking good questions and listening; genuinely and authentically listening.