The first question is a casual one. I always ask people where they grewup. This is one of the most endearing and engaging questions to askbecause everyone is willing to talk about it. It also gives youpersonal insight as to what type of person you might be dealing with.Not personality, person. There’s a big difference between growing up inSpringfield, Illinois and Brooklyn, New York.
The second thing I want to know is how they got started in theircareer. This is also revealing because it’s not just what they say –it’s their tone, their passion (or lack of it).
And finally, I like to know “How’s business?” You can almost tell thisresponse by how quickly they answer you. If they have to think aboutit, there’s usually a problem or two. Maybe even one that you can helpresolve.
Once you have information about where they grew up, how they started intheir career, and the state of their business — then you can begin todevelop meaningful dialog, engaging dialog, and relationship-orienteddialog that will not only help you relate to them, but will help themrelate to you.
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