How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Manage the small talk
Many conversations start with small talk, which can help to relax the other person whist also starting to build trust.
You can use small talk to gain useful information about the other person and their context. If you in sales, ask about how business is going, what sales they are making, who their customers are, who their competitors are and so on. It can also be useful to know more about the person and what makes them tick.
Where you can, show that you have similar interests to the other person or you have some other things in common.
Reveal things about yourself only slowly, using progressive disclosure.
How are things now? I hear business is flattening off.
So what are you going to do at the weekend?
How about that! I drive a BMW Z3 too. Aren't they beautiful cars?
Some people love small talk, and will fritter away the conversation on minor distractions. This may be acceptable in social settings, but in professional situations it can be very frustrating.
Other people do not like small talk and prefer to quickly get onto subjects of greater importance. in this, they may just like to talk about their pet theories and perhaps seek admiration as they demonstrate their wide knowledge.
The amount of such chatter you should allow will vary with the context. For example in a sales situation you may have very limited time and the person buying may not be interested in fake chatter.