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A curious path to success

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It may sound almost counterintuitive, but the best way to impress prospects is not to give them a lot of information about our accomplishments but to simply show interest in them. Curious people are genuinely interested in what other people have to say. And in our frenetic and distracted world, being curious about another person will set you apart.

Most of the successful businesspeople I interviewed for The Connectors, regardless of their positions, are just naturally curious. And listening is their secret weapon; they are curious listeners.

It’s what a great listener doesn’t say that makes their curiosity so powerful. Have you ever been around someone who just wants hear all about your day or your recent trip? Someone who is truly interested in what you have to say? You don’t find these people very often anymore, which is why they really stand out.

An entrepreneur I worked with runs a multimillion-dollar data firm. He is so skilled at listening that when I first met him, I was almost uncomfortable. His eye contact is so unwavering and his body language conveys that he is completely interested in what the other person is saying. This entrepreneur credits this skill for his phenomenal success.

If you show an interest in what others have to say, they will interpret it as care and concern for them. They will easily conclude that you are a good person—someone they’d like to do business with. If you want to make an impression on prospects, develop your curiosity about them. It’s what you don’t say that will make the difference.

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Maribeth Kuzmeski is the founder of Red Zone Marketing, LLC, which consults to Fortune 500 firms on strategic marketing planning and business growth. For more information, go to


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