Arriving at the station the other morning I overheard a conversation between two young women. It went something like this:
First woman “How did your hot date go with that good looking guy?”
Second woman “You know what, it was OK. But all through the evening he talked about himself and I just listened.”
First woman “Surely not all the time?”
Second woman “He did! I don’t think he asked me a single question all night. In fact, I know he didn’t. He doesn’t know anything about me.”
First woman “So, no second date?”
Second woman “No second date.”
The most important person in our own life is ourselves. So we naturally like to talk about the issues that impact upon us and are relevant to what we do. Therefore, we are drawn to people who ask us questions and take an interest in our world because they allow us to talk. Ultimately, this makes us feel good.
In contrast, people who hog the conversation and fail to ask questions (and thus show interest) achieve the opposite.
And this principle very much holds in business. If you’re selling a product, be it a physical object or the services you provide, be careful not to fall into the trap of talking about it too much. Taking an interest in the customer by asking questions is much more likely to get you that all-important second date.