Tips, Rips, and Reviews
By Michael Dalton Johnson

In business, good conversational skills that build relationships are money in the bank.

Many people think that downloading an endless stream of information makes for a good conversation. You have probably fallen prey to a self-absorbed speaker countless times. You smile, nod, and interject an occasional “really?” Soon you have completely tuned the person out and are looking for a way to gracefully withdraw. When you finally escape, the clueless speaker leaves thinking that the two of you had a great conversation.

Businesspeople can take a lesson from the sales trainers who instruct salespeople to talk 20 percent of the time and listen to their prospects 80 percent of the time. However if you’re engaged in a business conversation, I think a 50-50 split works.

Remember that people love to hear their own names. It instantly creates a bond. It makes a connection on a personal level. Saying the name of the person you’re talking to as you converse goes a long way toward solidifying a new relationship. If your buyer’s name is difficult to pronounce, get the correct pronunciation from the receptionist or assistant. Write it out phonetically, and say it aloud a few times before your meeting.

Caution: Do not overuse the person’s name or you come off as patronizing or insincere.



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Five Lessons I Learned at Starbucks
By Mark Tewart

I have just watched a beggar collect at least $5 worth of donations in the last half hour with a sign that says – "I am saving up for a hooker, weed, wine and a steak dinner." Not one of the people bothered to read his sign and know what they were even donating for. Not the family man with his wife and children, not the group of older people probably in their 80s, not the business man in the suit, nobody. The beggar obviously learned the power of asking, no matter what.

Lesson #1 – Make sure you ask for the business. I have just watched a beggar collect at least $5 worth of donations in the last half hour with a sign that says – “I am saving up for a hooker, weed, wine and a steak dinner.” Not one of the people bothered to read his sign and know what they were even donating for. Not the family man with his wife and children, not the group of older people probably in their 80s, not the business man in the suit, nobody. The beggar obviously learned the power of asking, no matter what.

Lesson #2 – It’s not the money. People pile into Starbucks one after another spending three and four bucks on of a cup coffee. Obviously you can get a cup of coffee at a diner down the street for a lot less money. But yet, people willingly spend a $100 per month or more at Starbucks. Why?

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