For some, starting conversations with people you don’t know is easy. For most of us, it’s not.
When you are in a situation where you need to be starting a conversation, at a dinner, a function or an event, what do you say?
And how do you get people interested in you and what you do?
As Dale Carnegie said, “The greatest conversationalists are those who do the least of the talking.” The best way to engage others – show an interest in the person with whom you are speaking.
After you’re through the beginning stages of starting a conversation, a great question you can ask is…
“What’s your story?”
This one question has the ability to get people talking like no other.
It talks directly to the person’s core. It’s who they are. How they got to be who they are. It’s so important to them. It makes it a winning way to get the prospect talking.
To do it right, you have to be authentic. Genuine. Deeply fascinated by what this person will be telling you. Interested to learn and grow through the experience.
How can you segue into this question?
Say you’re speaking with a successful person. You’re at a function. You know a few details about him. He has a successful business. Or he’s achieved something remarkable.
Ask him, “It’s fascinating what you’ve achieved in xyz. What’s your story? How did you get to where you are today?”
Next step is to listen. If needed, ask them prompting questions.
The outcome of this conversation is that you will know a ton about this person. You will know his values, dreams, what he cares about, his challenges, his hopes.
With the natural resonance that comes through knowing someone better, you can begin to speak their language, in a way that you will connect more deeply with the prospect.
Whether you’re at a simcha, dinner or new prospect meeting, asking ‘what’s your story?’ can be a game changer to gain real insights into new prospects.
B’hatzlacha Raba Raba!
Avraham Lewis is the fundraising coach for busy Jewish leaders who need a clear system for raising much more.