There are a lot of strategies and techniques that are proposed to break people’s attention and get them to focus on us and our message. I find that most of these maneuvers are very self-serving and pretty simple to see through. I also believe that only every waking moment of our lives we are sending messages that I call “tells”. In Vegas, a “tell” is a sign that you give off unintentionally regarding what you’re holding in your hand. Actually, we give off “tells” all the time. The question is whether we are aware we are doing this or not.
Not to be sexist, women tend to pick up on tells more frequently than men. Maybe it’s their intuition, or their experience in reading through a lot of b.s. from guys. Who knows? As guys, we often don’t realize that our body language, eye contact, intonation, listening, or lack of these things is sending a message. This post isn’t designed to be an armchair psychological analysis, but if you’ve been around for a while you know what I’m talking about.
Because I’m not smart enough to memorize all kinds of clever ninja moves when it comes to networking and building relationships, I choose to use a very simple approach. When you’re meeting someone for the first time, after you get to know a little bit about them, ask them “How may I serve you?” And ask it sincerely. This will probably cause the other person to stop in their tracks. And that’s a good thing. You have gotten their attention. Now, this isn’t about manipulation or cleverness, this is about taking a sincere interest in the other person and letting them know that you are wanting to help them in some way.
Unless you’re talking to Hannibal Lechter, you’re going to start your relationship in a great way. Actually, if you were speaking to Hannibal Lechter, he’d probably be thinking about how he would serve you. Maybe with a little Chianti and fava beans. But I digress. Think about the last time that someone asked you how they could serve you. I’m guessing that it’s been a while. If not, please introduce me to the person that asked you how they could serve you. I’d like to meet them. That’s the kind of person I’d like to know.
Seek to serve and everything else will fall into place. Don’t waste your time trying to memorize clever opening lines and other networking Rubik’s Cubes. If something seems hard to learn, it’s usually because it is. It’s a BFO- a blinding flash of the obvious. Always seek the natural way. What could be more natural in starting a new relationship than asking “How may I serve you?” And always remember that we only get back what we give. It’s a universal law. I’m willing to bet that when you are known as a person of service and value you’ll have a lot of people that will respond in kind. So…how may I serve you?
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