Here are three steps:
1. Talk less.
2. Ask interesting questions.
3. Listen appreciatively.
Jerry Acuff’s list below will give you some great question ideas!
They are from his book, The Relationship Edge in Business by Jerry Acuff © 2004.
1. What do you do when you are not working?
2. Where did you go to school (and how did you choose it)?
3. Where did you grow up and what was it like growing up there?
4. What was your high school like?
5. What do you enjoy reading when you have the time?
6. How did you decide to do [whatever it is he or she does] for a living?
7. Tell me something about your family.
8. Where is your favorite place to vacation?
9. What kind of vacation would you like to take that you have not yet taken?
10. What community associations, if any, do you have time to be involved with?
11. What sports, if any, do you enjoy participating in?
12. What sports do you enjoy watching?
13. If you could have tickets for any event, what would it be?
14. How did you decide to settle in this area?
15. Tell me something about yourself that would surprise me.
16. What things would you really want to do more of, but don’t have time for?
17. What challenges/issues in your work might I, or my company, be able to help you with?
18. What is the most frustrating thing about being in your business these days?
19. In your opinion, what two or three qualities make a top-notch sales representative [or account executive . . . or management consultant . . . accountant . . . or whatever you are]?
20. If all work paid the same and you could go around again, what would you do?