The Key to Sales and Relationships
There is one skill that deeply enhances your personal and professional relationships – and consequently improves every single area of your life. It is a skill that makes you more likeable, more engaged and more informed. What is it, you ask? It is the skill of genuine interest.
Think back for a moment to the last people who asked you, “How are you doing?” “How’s your week going?” or “What are you working on?” What kind of a conversations ensued? How did you feel after these conversations?
This week I made an effort to show sincere interest in the people I crossed paths with. I also took note of the sentiments that surfaced when people took genuine interest in me.
I walked into Sport Check, a sporting goods store, this past weekend, and a sales rep immediately approached me. “Can I help you with anything?” she asked.
“Yes,” I replied. “I’m looking for a fall jacket for my travels to Europe in a couple months. Can you recommend anything?”
“Wow, that’s awesome,” she replied. “I lived in Switzerland for a year. Where are you planning on travelling?”
We had a pleasant conversation for five minutes, and I walked away thinking, “That was very nice of her to engage with me. She’s good at her job.”
The effect that curiosity and simple questions can have are remarkable in regards to your relationships with those around you. Genuine interest is what leads to networking opportunities, first dates, friendships and memorable conversations.
A few months ago, I reached out to an organization called MAPP to ask if they’d like to partner with Frame of Mind Coaching for a webinar. MAPP offers a career assessment test that delves into a person’s strengths and matches them with fitting jobs.
I took the free version of the assessment and called the organization. I had a brief conversation with the gentleman who answered the phone, and he mentioned he would put me in touch with the right person.
“Well thanks for calling,” he said.
“I just want to say,” I cut in, “that I was really fascinated by the assessment. I’ve taken many assessments and this one was spot on.”
“Oh really?” He said excitedly, “Let me send you a free upgrade so you can see the full report of your results.”
Dale Carnegie, author of the best-selling book “How to Win Friends & Influence People,” once said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
It is undeniably true. Showing interest and listening to others with curiosity gives them a sense of importance and it paves the way for rich conversations.
Putting this skill to use is as simple as voicing the natural questions that arise throughout the day. It is the little comments that make the difference.
Utterances like: “What do you think of the showers at the gym?” or “I noticed that you came late to work today, is everything okay?” or “Tell me about your day” can have a huge impact.
Author, speaker and pastor John C. Maxwell summed it up well when he said “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
This week, try flexing your “genuine interest” muscle. You’ll see the wonderful warmth and opportunities that arise as a result of your good will.