Are there really "secret persuasion techniques" to making people like you?
It's really an "open secret" that is rooted in you showing them you have the style, the class, the wisdom and good judgment to be thoroughly interested in them!
How To (Appear To) Be Interested In Others
Look, some people are as boring as Charlie Brown's teacher with a hangover.
I get it.
But you still must at least appear to be interested in others when you meeting them in a setting that could lead to business. (Plus, it's the polite thing to do in normal social settings.)
But how can you appear to be interested in others—and even have fun while you're at it?
Ask thought-provoking questions.
Ask questions that they want to answer.
Questions they can answer.
Questions they enjoy answering.
Questions that allow them to pontificate and show just how smart and wise and caring and thoughtful they are.
Because whoever is asking the questions is in control of the conversation.
In sales you need to practice taking control and remaining in control. Plus, if you're in a boring party where you have to make nice, you can have some fun with this while also staying actively engaged and turning yourself into the life of the party!
Great, Wes. But what questions can I ask a taxidermist or septic tank repairman or a neuroscientist?"
I'm glad you asked. (See how you took control of this post by asking a good question?)
Some of my all-time favorite connecting-questions include:
The Warm Up
- How long have you been in your line of work?
- How did you get started?
- What do you like most about your line of work?
- Why do people choose to do business with you and/or your company?
- What would you do with your business if you knew you could not fail?
- What tips / advice / recommendations would you give someone just starting in your field / industry / business?
- How has your field / industry / profession changed over the years?
- What’s in store for your field / industry / profession in the coming years?
- What’s the strangest or funniest thing you’ve encountered in your business?
- What are your most effective tools for promoting and growing your business?
- When it comes to describing the way you do business, what one sentence would you like people to use?
- How will I know if someone I know or run across is a good prospect for you?
The Killer Ice Breaker Questions
- “If you had to relocate to a foreign country where would you go to and why?”
- “What is the dumbest thing you’ve ever done?”
- “What is the worst / best business investment you’ve ever made?”
- “Who do you think would be most receptive to hearing the story about your business, men or women?”
- “Other than someone in your family who would you say is your biggest role model? biggest fan? biggest supporter?
- “If you weren’t in your current profession what would you be doing?”
- “Where were you born and raised and how do you think that has affected your outlook on life and business?”
- “What’s your favorite movie and why?” (Journalists love “The Godfather”)
- “Which competitor, client and partner do you like best and why?”
Master asking more and better questions (and then listening to the answers) and you'll be the life of the party, the richest household on the block, the big Kahuna, the person everyone wants to be around, the business that gets all the referrals.
If you want to really connect with them, follow-up with them after you meet. To see which is the best tool for your situation to master inbound sales and marketing automation, take the Best CRM Quiz.
If you need more help growing your sales, check out the following resources scattered around this site and a few others I operate, such as:
P.S. Want to know how to read minds to make every sale? Check out this interview with Ian Rowland.