Presenting our case to an unknown prospect can be a daunting task or it can be today’s big adventure.

First contact has been made.

We have greeted the prospect and identified in one sentence, our name, our company and possibly our product line.

Our next task is to encourage the prospect to reveal something of themself.

I often use the same skills in chatting with a prospective client that I used earlier in the day while seeking solutions to a crossword puzzle.

I start each day by jogging not only with my feet but soon after with my brain. I’ve had my run, my breakfast and now as I enjoy a great cup of coffee, I am exercising my noodle with a crossword puzzle, using the same techniques which will serve me well when I reach my office an hour from now.

As I greet this stranger or the first clue to today’s puzzle I remind myself that there is much that I know about the person or word before me ,either of which is in some way representative of the  society in which I am a  member.

I begin by jogging my memory for prior knowledge and if none arrives I look for a clue.


With a puzzle I can wait and make a quick pass through the maze of possibilities, retrieving that which I know. From that eventual compilation of known events I can more easily discover new information to begin filling in the blanks.

With a prospect, I consult my  memory for prior knowledge.

As with The Crossword Puzzle, I quickly acquire or confirm  some information, a name,  either first or last and proceed to discover another clue, perhaps with a non threatening question or by assuming a possibility and affirming a hoped-for sharing of ideas.

By now I  know something of the prospects desires and defenses, and the strength of each; I can proceed by using basic social skills from which much can be learned with very little need for control.

If I have listened well, we may be ready to share a cup of coffee whether literally or metaphorically and finish this pretend Crossword Puzzle together.







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