Create a Basis for Continued Contact
Making a new connection based on a feeling of mutual respect is essential to leveraging the relationship later on. As we discussed earlier, people like people who like them—or at least those who are like them. Therefore, it’s essential to align yourself with your new associate from the get-go. That means getting on that person’s wavelength, being curious about that person, and showing interest in what he or she is interested in.
To return to the story of my encounter with the association president: I, of course, asked if the book he was reading when we met on that flight was for business or pleasure. “Pleasure,” he replied. So I asked what it was about and remarked that I felt reading is a great way to relax. He agreed, with enthusiasm, and went on to tell me about how much he was enjoying the book. It was a spiritual book, something you don’t typically find in business settings and something that served as a rapport clue for me. He was revealing something about himself: that he had a spiritual side. Presumably, he was a person with ethics and integrity, motivated to live up to a high standard, and interested in improving himself. It would be easy for me to build rapport with him, because I also have a spiritual side, value self-improvement, and appreciate people who bring ethics and integrity to the business world.
“It would be a great day for corporate America if more people read books like that,” I remarked, hoping to establish ...