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Start with Hello: How to Convert Today's Stranger into Tomorrow's Client by Linda Coles

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Chapter 2

Action brings activity

Action is the foundational key to all success.

Pablo Picasso

Sitting in your office, and particularly your home office, is not going to give you opportunities to say hello to someone you have never met before. To do that, you’ll have to get out for at least a few minutes and go to, say, a coffee shop. So let’s plan a few events to enter into your calendar and get the ball rolling in the right direction.

Being in a familiar environment but in an unfamiliar situation is one way of taking the pain out of pushing yourself to strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know, as does having something in common. For example, if you’re a regular at your local chamber of commerce networking events, this is a familiar environment to you but, as you don’t know the other guests there yet, it is an unfamiliar situation.

The obvious first question you might ask another guest at such as an event would be, ‘How long have you been a member?’ Easy. You have something in common, and it enables you to break the ice, giving the other person an opportunity to start talking about themselves first — and most people love to talk about themselves!

If you have read Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People you will know that one of his six principles for being a good listener is to get people talking about themselves. It’s not unusual for people to like talking about themselves — most likely, much of the time they are probably not even aware that ...

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