At my old place of work, we used to have these seminars that would help you increase your sales and keep up with positive morale while working in a stressful environment. For the most part it was mostly entertaining. The two people who directed the seminars were funny, witty and had great advice for techniques they used to increase profit. They made a boring subject interesting for a lack of better words.
Not only did these seminars help me with my sales and with my job overall, but it helped me in my everyday life; how to communicate better with people. They demonstrated the human behavior and what people ‘want to hear’, as opposed to what they hear everyday. Give them a whole other aspect of what’s approaching them—whether you’re in sales or any other type of position. Well, I applied this to my everyday life…not just my job.
One of the many things that stick out of my mind was the topic of ‘open probe questioning’. Basically, it’s asking a question leaving that person to explain his response, instead of a ‘yes and no’ type of answer.
Closed probe question: "Do you have a sister?"
Typical answer: "No." (You may or may not get the answer unless probing around more…)
Open probe question: "Do you have any siblings?"
Answer: "Yes, I have three older sisters…no brothers."
So you get the gist, right? Now, when I was selling internet, DSL lines and telephone equipment, I would always ask them an open probed question within my sales technique. It always worked much better. So instead of just limiting these great techniques for sales…I learned an awful lot about people in general.
Really observe others when you’re sitting at a bar talking to people who you’ve just met. It’s amazing how some people try to communicate. For instance, here’s a conversation I had with one lady while sitting at the bar.
Barfly Lady #1: (Looks at my ‘wedding ring’) “So what does your husband do?”
Me: “I don’t have a husband.” (I could have elaborated, but I wanted to test her ability to probe further.)
Barfly Lady #1: “Oh moy Gawd! My brotha would just love you! Do you have a boyfriend?”
Barfly Lady #1: “Ya know, I have a dating service that I run. You should come into my office and we can see what and who’s available! Why dontchya’ come down? Here’s my business card.”
Me: “Oh, I’m okay—but thank you!”
Barfly Lady #1: “You mean you don’t wanna find Mr. Right? Oh moy Gawd Shelly—look at her---she’s gorgeous and single! John would just love her!”
Me: “Not really…but thank you for even offering!”
Barfly Lady #2: “Oh what a shame! Such a pretty girl like you—and you’re not even looking at all?”
Me: “Naw, I’m pretty happy where I am right now.”
Okay, so now you get the idea of how this conversation is going. I could have elaborated a bit further, but it was so much fun taking them for a ride.
As soon as I was done eating dinner with my girlfriend who was sitting right next to me and a few friends, I got up and put on my jacket. The ladies looked over at me and asked if I was leaving.
“It was a pleasure talking with you ladies—nice to meet all of you.” I said, as I shook their hands. “And by the way, I’m a lesbian; this is my lifetime partner of twelve years.”
They’re eyes instantly focused on the two of us and the look of embarrassment sunk in. How could they have not known? We both had the same rings on each finger, and we were sitting very close to one another in an intimate setting. Not only that, the bar is a gay/straight/bi type of place. Anything goes. They had to assume there would be a few lesbians lurking around. I just don’t give that information up, unless I feel it’s ‘right’.
Okay, on to another technique used to fool people. Ever notice how some people seem to sell more than others? I’m talking more of that ‘face-to-face’ type of sale. This even applies when approaching someone that you want to date or get to know. Use ‘positive body language’. Over the phone, always say ‘yes’, after asking someone a question or assume that they want it, and ask how many they would like.
“So with your phone service, you get calling cards with it---how many would you like?”
Bam! “Oh give me two. One for my husband and one for me.” (Usually the response.)
Tamar---you know what I mean because you’re still at that office!
What about in person? Let’s take you Walter, (TrappedinColorado)… You walk into a bar, and you see a beautiful woman sitting by herself. You walk up to her and say, “There’s a martini special, which one do you want me to order for you?” Nodding your head “yes” and smiling indicating you have a pulse in there somewhere. Is it corny? Yeah, but does it work? Most of the time.
“Oh! Well, I guess the appletini.” She replies, a little confused, but happy the offer was there.
So now she thinks this is some sort of martini salesman—but it’s not. She accepts the drink; therefore, you have time to shoot the breeze with her, Walter. Don’t mess this up buddy. It takes approximately two minutes to shake this martini—give your best impression!
“Do you mind if I sit here?” Shake your head yes…and your suggestive behavior will immediately sink into her head and she will automatically go with the flow and say…"Not at all...please do”. She says, nodding—but not sure why she just gave you permission to sit there--besides the overwhelming charm you're putting on. She's a little foggy on her peculiar behavior, but now you’re ‘in’… Make your move. (Please make sure she isn’t waiting for a huge body builder boyfriend named Biff…)
Now you get to the ‘conversation part’. Ask open probed questions. Ask only questions about her. People love to talk about themselves. Obviously we do, or we wouldn’t be blogging every day of our lives.
“So where are you from?” Oppose to, “Do you live around the area?” That one line will open up many avenues for other conversations. Avoid ‘work related’ questions. Some people may not want to reveal what they do for a living---or a lack of what they do. They will automatically close up sometimes. I know the usual conversation is, "What do you do?” Scratch that. Think---‘life’---not jobs. Especially in a bar, the last thing a person wants to talk about is their work.
Never, ever, ask them if they are dating anyone. Don’t ask…don’t tell. I know, I know---how do I know if they’re dating someone then? If they are not interested in you—you will immediately know there is another man involved (or a pretend one to get you out of their hair.) So leave it up to them to say, “Oh well my boyfriend and I just got back from vacation…yada yada yada…” It will happen if they are involved—believe me. Or she may tell you she’s a lesbian.
Never, ever, talk about your ex, unless she asks you specifically. If she does, do not talk negatively about the ex. It’s just the same as a job interview. When asked about your previous employer—you do not speak badly of them.
“It just didn’t work out. I enjoyed my time with her (or with at my job) but it just didn’t work."
End of story.
Sometimes that’s a ‘test question’ for women. They open up the ‘ex files’ and see where you take off with it. If you speak badly of the woman you used to love at one time, then what will you say about ‘her’ when and if you get into a relationship with this new one? See? Women think way too much. We’re analyzers and we dissect everything down to the bone. We never talk ‘just to talk’…We put you under a microscope like a fricken bug and see what’s brewing.
You think you guys have it bad; my position of living in the gay community is quite bizarre. It’s very tricky trying to approach a woman in a bar or other establishment—if you find them attractive. You never know if that other significant other is lurking around. And usually—she is; she’s like the mother bear waiting for her prey. She’ll pounce at the right time and you’ll never know what hit ya.
So for my lesbian friends… Here’s Deb’s tip on ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’…
1. Never assume just because a woman is by herself at the bar that she doesn’t have a burly girlfriend in the wings stalking her every move. Tip? Buy her a drink from afar, and just nod. Do not approach her just because you bought her a drink you dimwit. Let her approach you…
2. When dancing, if a girl decides to dance with you—this does not mean she is single. Take a good surveillance of the entire room, and see if any eyes are darted on you two. Ask, “Did you come here with anyone?” It’s okay to ask, “Should I be scared?” Dancing can get quite risqué in those clubs. Those questions are suitable. You don’t want big Bertha coming after you with her new Timberland boots to give you a good colonoscopy.
3. Bathroom pick ups. Oh just avoid this entirely! You never know who’s in the stalls behind you. The whole ‘hearsay-lying-ass rumor spreading fest’ goes on in this room. Avoid it at all costs.
4. The outside smoking crowd. Usually, at the gay bars----there’s usually a bit more ‘smoking tobacco’ going on here. Do you really want to risk the chance of meeting a pothead dyke? Just avoid it.
5. Loser!----never, ever, ever, ever try to pick up the bartender! Not only will you lose your precious tip money because you want a little sumptin’ sumptin’ on the side after her shift, but you’ll lose your dignity while you’re at it.
WARNING: Taking tips from Deb is like selling your soul to the devil. Deb hasn’t used these techniques since the night before last—I mean before she dated Madelene. Do not use these tips if you are married, in a relationship or otherwise have a head on your shoulders. All caution should be used while taking any advice from Deb. If you experience any sudden itching, swelling or burning sensations—Deb is not responsible for these side effects. Take her advice ONLY at your own risk.
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