1) Act like a good listener. Don’t let your body image betray you. We’re constantly bombarded with information, so it’s almost instinctive to tune it out. When you’re interacting with someone, you need to consciously change your body language to reflect that you want to receive information; otherwise, it may appear you’re trying to get away from it. Remember, your face says it all.
2) Ask effective questions. When you’re communicating, remember: garbage in, garbage out. If you ask the wrong questions, you’ll get the wrong answers–or at least different answers from the ones you were hoping. Think about what you’re hoping to learn, and, remember, an open-ended question is almost always more effective than one that elicits a simple yes or no answer.
3) Play dumb. Socrates used this technique more than 2,300 years ago by feigning ignorance in order to encourage others to express their views fully. Today, many of the world’s most successful businesspeople do the same.
4) Know your audience. Whether you’re dealing with a colleague, boss, client or recent acquaintance, it pays to do a little research. Once you know what a person wants, is interested in and responds to, you’ll be better equipped to deliver just that.
5) Remember, “When she cries, she buys.” This is the motto of Wisconsin-based financial advisor Dale Froehlich, who closes more than 90 percent of his sales. What he means is simple: Ask questions about something that’s close to the heart of the prospect (e.g., her children). Once she opens up to you, she trusts you. Then, she won’t want to go anywhere else.
Bonus: Let your passion shine through. If you’re truly energetic and passionate about what you do, other people will notice. They may buy from you, they may talk about you or they may follow your career–and they’ll definitely feel connected to you.
Excerpted from “The Connectors: How the World’s Most Successful Businesspeople Build Relationships and Win Clients for Life” by author, entrepreneur and president of Red Zone Marketing, Maribeth Kuzmeski. Find out more about Kuzmeski and her marketing strategies at www.redzonemarketing.com.