1. Seek out a common interest. People want others to be like them. Establishing that you and a client root for the same baseball team or volunteer at the same charity goes a long way in making you relevant in his or her eyes.
2. Don’t work from a script. Try to scrap the memorized pitch in favor of a more natural conversation. You seem more at ease and authentic — and your prospect is less tempted to think you’re fluffing up the facts.
3. Remember the life philosophy of Mary Kay Ash, the cosmetics mogul. Pretend every person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that reads, “Make me feel important.” Her genuine concern for others catapulted her out of poverty and was the secret to her success.