Posts Tagged relationship

Tips and Topics on Starting a Conversation And Establish Report With Any New Contact or Prospect

Don't know what to say?

Charlie Cook said it right: whether you are in the elevator or on the phone, the way you start the conversation will determine whether or not it will continue. So many times we face the uncomfortable situation of meeting with a recently established contact and we just don’t know what to say. In fact, opening a conversation requires a set of skills if you want to leave an everlasting impression that will make the other one eager to come to you every time he/she  will meet you.

Tips to excel in starting a conversation and in establishing report with any  newly established contact or prospect:
  • Start with a joke/humor – By making humors, you show that you are open-minded, you have a positive attitude, that you do not feel depressed, and very important, you send the message that the person will feel great around you and will have fun. Yet, of course, because of the cultural differences, you might want to choose carefully what jokes to give. For having traveled and lived around lot of different cultures, I found out that what is funny for Africans might not be that funny for Europeans; and what is funny for Europeans might not be funny for Americans. Also, avoid any racial or other social jokes.  Do not make fun of your new contact unless you feel like he won’t take it against you. Good jokes to get started are when you make fun of you.
  • Give a sincere praise – People love to be flattered. People love it when you show respect to their self-esteem. People love it when you show that you care.
    About two weeks ago, I was having diner with two friends of mine over in Baltimore, MD at a Greek restaurant.  As we were waiting to be seated, I noticed the very expensive watch the restaurant owner was wearing and as soon as I got the opportunity, I told him how much I love the design and style of his watch and asked him where he got it from. He loved that attention and praise and during the whole 1 hour diner time we had with my friends, we had the best service and the best attention in return from the restaurant. As we were leaving, the restaurant owner came for special thanks and asked for what we do for leaving. There was a new connection starting.
  • Make a considerable remark/meaningful greetings – So many times we come to greet people by just pressing on the play button of our recorded mindset that do not reflect how we actually are or feel at the moment. People will ask you: “HOW ARE YOU?” and you’ll go: “FINE THANKS! ” even if you feel horrible. Making a considerable remark means observing the person and giving the person a feedback of how he reflects to feel like: “you look like you are going to a company meeting”, “You look like you just got a job promotion”. That kind of greeting will definitely invite or push the person to tell what is really going on at the moment: “Oh yeah! I have so much going on right now!”, “Oh it’s not work related, it’s my wife who made a wonderful surprise.”
  • Do the happy face – Don’t walk with a pity face on you and expect to have people willing to talk with you, be smiling. Smile and enthusiasm opens doors and are contagious. People love that and love to be surrounded of that kind of people.
  • Have a respectable body language and position – Whether you are making a joke, giving a meaningful greeting or a praise, the way you position yourself, wherever you are, and your body language, tell a lot about how educated you are and therefore can help the person to engaged in a conversation with you.

Now let’s talk a bout the topics to talk about with anyone. When your relationship to someone is not yet secured and you can’t afford just talking about everything by fear of hurting the person or by fear of saying something that will be taken against you, you have to watch out about what topics to pick up when starting a conversation and breaking the ice. This selection of topics I am getting ready to give you are petty helpful for situations where you are invited to a dinner or any other social event and you know no one or barely know them. Also, when you invite someone at your place or at a diner but you have no strong relationship with the person.

WARNING!!!! This is  not supposed to be an interview. So as you surf and pick up the topics, make sure it looks more like a conversation that all the parties enjoy having and that give the opportunity to everyone to share his own story.

Topics on starting a conversation and establish report with any newly established contact:

  • Are you from here originally? / How long have you been working for that company? –  As you are establishing report with someone, you want to make sure you first show genuine interest to the person by getting to know where the person comes from. In general, people would start telling you everything about the places the lived in before moving where they live now.
  • What social activity interest you the most? – The point behind this question is to see what you have in common with the person. The more you have in common, the stronger will be your relationships to the person, and the more the two of you will be willing to do things together.
  • Do you play any sport? / Do you you follow up with sport? Which team you go for? – Men are usually the best gender to ask that kind of question to.
  • Where is the best place to go and eat here? / What are the different types of foods you ever tried?
  • Did you watch that movie???
  • Where is the best place you ever had to visit?
  • If you feel like the connection on the right track you can go the extra-mile and start topics such as who is the person who influenced you the most, or what is that you like about your job, or what would be your dream job.

Again, just like Charlie Cook said: whether you are in the elevator or on the phone, at the office or at a party, the way you start the conversation will determine whether or not it will continue. A well started conversation can open doors to a lifelong relationship.

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What Kind of Person Are You?

The poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox on the attempt to divide people into categories did a more tremendous job than what psychologists have attempted to. On a magnificent poem entitled “Which Are You?”, here is how she divides people into various categories.

There are two kinds of people on earth today;
Just two kinds of people, no more, I say.

Not the sinner and saint, for it’s well understood,
That the good are half-bad and the bad half-good.

Not the rich and poor, for to rate a man’s wealth,
You must first know the state of his conscience and health.

Not the humble and proud, for in life’s little span,
Who puts on vain airs, is not counted a man.

Not the happy and sad, for the swift flying years
Bring each man his laughter and each man his tears.

No; the two kinds of people on earth I mean,
Are the people who lift, and the people who lean.

Wherever you go, you will find the earth’s masses,
Are always divided in just these two classes.

And oddly enough ,you will find too, I ween.
There’s only one lifter to twenty who lean.

In which class are you? Are you easing the load,
Of overtaxed lifters, who toil down the road?
Or are you a leaner, who lets others share
Your portion of labor, and worry and care?

Source: Ella Wheeler Wilcox, “Which Are You?” Custer, and Other Poems (Chicago, W. B. Conkey Comapny, 1896), 134.

On man’s pursue of achievement, it’s important to understand the need to add in people’s life, man needs to do all the good man can, to all the people man can, in all the ways man can, as long as ever man can.

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Make Your e-Card counts

At every important event, I always make sure I do something that seems to be insignificant but that helps in building a long lasting relationship with people: I send a personalized greeting e-card.

Like I already said in a previous article, relationship is all about communication. With that said, the way we all communicate and the transference of feeling just as the care we show as we communicate is highly important. That is why as I send my e-cards, I just do not send an e-card but a personalized e-card.

How do you feel when for your birthday, for Christmas, for the New Year, or for Easter, your friend sends you an email that is just the same he sent out to all of his contacts? It probably doesn’t make you feel like this friend is been thinking of you personally when writing the e-card and therefore you do not put a big attach to the sent e-card.

To make your e-card counts, you need few simple things but that will stronger your attach to the e-card receiver:

  • Make sure it is not a group email and the receiver can actually see his name and only his name on the e-card
  • Back up your wishes: let your receiver know why you express those wishes. In other words, avoid giving random or common wishes. It helps the receiver know that you do care and that is why you take the time to send that e-card with those wishes.
  • Give briefly some of your news: this is a give-to-get technique. It will invite the e-card receiver to give you an update of what is going on in his life when he replies instead of sending you a simple “thank you”. 
  • Refresh your contact info: Let your e-card receiver as you conclude the card knows about how to get in touch with you. Let him know you are on facebook, twitter… Let him know your new phone number if you changed or other contact information and again it will be an invitation to have him da the same with you. As a benefit, you will have and updated contact list.

Thanks to the nowadays technology, we can better and more easily connect and communicate with people than it was in the past. However, if you let yourself go general or be lazy at giving to each one of your e-card recipients the importance they should have, the consideration of your wishes will be less appreciated and the benefit of building a stronger relationship will be less. So when you think sending an e-card, remember you about to position yourself in the mind of the receiver.

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