Make People Want To Talk To You
What’s the best way to make people want to talk to you?
- Do you woo them with your accomplishments?
- Boast about your new car?
- Talk about your interests, hobbies and love life (or lack thereof)?
No, no, and NO!
The absolute BEST way to make people ACTIVELY SEEK YOU OUT is to do the opposite—you need to be engaging!
Most people, even if they KNOW that they should engage people, still continue to only talk about THEMSELVES. Me, me, me.
People get bored VERY QUICKLY when a person can only seem to talk about how THEIR day was, how THEIR luck has been, and how THEIR blah-blah-blah is. That’s all the other person will hear: blah, blah, blah…
In sales, it’s all about the customer. In order to make the sale, you need to be attentive to the customer’s needs and wants. Well, making conversation is a lot like selling—except that the product you’re pushing is yourself.
People consistently drop hints as to what they’re interested in.
Let’s talk about what makes someone like another person:
- People will like someone who likes them back.
- People will like others who are similar to them.
By engaging the other person, they’ll believe that you’re genuinely interested in them. And when you communicate your interest in them, they will automatically like you and want to talk to you.
In addition, relating your experiences to someone else will call your similarities to attention, which will further enhance their liking for you.
Now, you may have heard the age-old advice that, to become a great conversationalist, you need to “be a good listener.”
This is EXCELLENT advice, and it is a big part of the puzzle, but it’s not quite enough to be truly engaging.
At some point, you’re going to need to talk. After all, a conversation isn’t a conversation unless more than one person is participating.
So, to be truly engaging, you need to remember that you’re having a conversation with another person. This person has wants, needs, preferences and interests just like you do.
People consistently drop hints as to what they’re interested in. These hints are constantly handed out, and they’re free for the taking.
This is where being a good listener comes in.
As you’re speaking with the person, listen for hints, which are usually nouns like “skiing,” “exercise,” “beer,” “movies” and so on.
If you hear a hint you’re interested in, ask about it. If you can relate to it in some way (let’s say you’re also a skier), even better.
If they mention skiing, say something like, “Where do you usually go skiing?”
If they mention exercise, you can say, “Cool. I can tell you’re in good shape. How often do you go to the gym?”
If your coworker mentions beer, joke around and say, “Mmm, beer sounds good right now. If I crack one open at work, you think anyone will mind?”
Notice what these questions all have in common?
They all ENGAGE the other person by telling something about the person (“I can tell you’re in good shape”) or by asking the other person a question (“Where do you ski?”).
You may have also noticed that these bits of conversation all have the word “you” in them.
When speaking with someone, you should use the word “you” just as much—if not more—as you use the word “I.” A good rule to follow is that if you aren’t saying “you,” you’re not engaging the person as well as you should.
If you talk to people about yourself and your own feelings, to you it might seem like the conversation is going well, but to the other person, the conversation is not engaging at all and is very boring—because it has nothing to do with them!
Focus on BOTH people and ENGAGE the other person. In doing so, the other person’s feelings and preferences are taken into consideration.
Always incorporate the other person into the conversation as much as possible!
There’s another way to captivate people during your conversation. I learned this from How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie—and I highly recommend you read it.
When you’re having a conversation with someone, say the person’s name. Greet them with it, use it when referring to them while telling a story, say their name when pausing for emphasis and say goodbye with it.
I have a good friend who is particularly fond of someone in her department. When I told her of this phenomenon, she finally realized that, whenever he would talk with her, he would use her name repeatedly.
It has been said that someone’s name is the most beautiful sound to that person. Use a person’s name and you will enchant them with their favorite word to hear.
Also, while engaging people, don’t push your assumptions on them.
If they HAD seen the movie, instead of saying “wasn’t it great?,” ask them, “what’d you think?”
Don’t talk their head off. Give them a chance to speak and share their thoughts with you.
So, listen for hints. Ask questions about the other person.
Say “you” more often.
Do this and you will be able to engage ANYBODY—and people will want to talk with you.
In summary, follow these three steps:
- Remember you’re talking to another person with needs, wants, interests and preferences. It’s not all about you.
- Listen for hints about their needs, wants, interests and preferences.
- Use the hints you’re given to ask questions and relate personal experiences to the other person.
In addition, say “you” more than I, use a person’s name while talking with them and don’t push your assumptions on people.
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