Friday, October 12, 2007

How to use an open book to open a conversation

Looking for a GREAT way to start a conversation with a stranger?

(Without talking about the weather, traffic or the long line you’re stuck in?)

Try making a reference to the book they’re reading.

It’s easy. It’s approachable. And it’s a great way to discover the Common Point of Interest.

NOTE: before you do this, remember a few ground rules:

1. If the book addresses a controversial, dangerous or potentially awkward topic, don’t do it. This could backfire BIG time. (Especially books like The Kama Sutra and 101 Ways to Murder Complete Strangers on Airplanes.)

2. As with any approach to a stranger, first take note of the person’s posture and non-verbals. If she doesn’t look receptive to casual conversation, don’t bother her. People’s personal bubbles deserve respect. Waiting until the reader takes a break is usually a good time to jump in. That way you’re not interrupting.

OK! Now that you’ve decided to say hi, here are six ways to use an open book to open conversation:

1. How do you like The Da Vinci Code so far? A positively framed, open-ended question. Gives people permission to open up.

2. I’ve heard that book is great! What do you think? Also positive AND compliments their taste.

3. You’re lucky to be reading that book; I just finished it and could read it again! Excites them about their book.

4. Excuse me; I was actually thinking about buying that book. Would you recommend it? Appeals to a human being’s inherent helpful nature. What’s more, it’s kind of hard to get shut down with this approach.

5. So, what’s the best thing you learned from that book so far? Good for non-fiction and business books.

6. Don’t you just love Norman Vincent Peale? Who doesn’t?

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How do you use open books to open conversations?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Try one of these today!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag


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