A conversation with someone you don’t know very well can be extremely difficult. From the beginning it’s a brief slippery slide down the slope of small talk before the conversation runs dry.
There is a simple trick though that everybody can pull off and it doesn’t take a genius to execute it either. It involves 3 little words – “Tell me more”.
The simple fact is this, you can’t just talk at somebody for a conversation to work, in fact if you really want to engage a person you need to dig deeper to find out some common ground.
For example I went to a christening at the weekend and even though I knew a few people there it certainly wasn’t enough to pass for 4 hours of entertaining conversation, so an extra effort had to be made. I got chatting to a guy and during the usual small talk about the weather he let drop that he got caught in a shower out on his bicycle. A-ha, some common ground there as I like cycling too. “Tell me more.” He cycles to work everyday and then goes off for an extra bit of exercise after that. “Tell me more.” He finds that cycling is really good for keeping the legs in shape but doesn’t help with the belly at all. “Wow, I wondered why I wasn’t getting rid of my gut. Tell me more”… and so on. Before you know it you’re gassing like old friends.
This technique also works extremely well in business too. Building a relationship with somebody before you hand out your business cards is really important. Dig deep, find out what your potential customers might be looking for before offering them a solution.
Let them express themselves, discover common ground, share a vision.
Repeat until successful.
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