Sybarite is our Features Writer from London, UK
The wisest advice I’ve ever received from a man:
If you want a guy to remember you, ask him questions about himself. He’ll think you care. He’ll feel flattered. He’ll be able to work in stories he wants to share about his life – friends, family, work, interests. He might even be clever enough to draw upon some wit. The more you ask, and the more you refer back to earlier answers in your following questions, the more comfortable he will feel.
Best of all when you leave, he’ll think: “I’ve had a really nice night. What a great girl.” And that is because he’s spent the entire time answering questions that he knows the answers to: himself.
My current Sales Director bestowed this wisdom upon me. A man who just turned 50, is happily married and has two teenage boys. He runs a business with 80 employees, where a mere three are working mothers. His company services over 700 small businesses of which 96% are run by men. I’m confident he knows a lot about gents. Apologies for the heavily penned statistics. (It also helps to demonstrate the penis dominated industry in which I work.)
Endowed with insight, I began testing the theory with at least 600 of these clients and their mostly male employees. I asked the men loads of open questions, taking notes and referring back to them in future conversations. I became exposed to a variety of characters, learnt diverse approaches and built an extensive list of questions. Some people call this a sales technique. I refer to it as my mantique: the antiquated mantra for talking to men.
Over the months, my client relationships blossomed. Sometimes instantaneously. To the point where I could cold call a man, ask clever questions, win him over and close a sale. Obviously, it did not take too long to take my new skill for a test drive in the wet. And so I applied the mantique to meet men and close other sales.
I can confirm that the approach works.
But you need to be creative. Nobody’s entertained by vital stat questions in today’s dating market. We already know a man’s age, relationship status and past girlfriends, courtesy of Facebook. If we’re lucky his employment history. Thank you LinkedIn. And that he once axed himself dirt bike riding with his school mates in Mexico. Bless YouTube.
It’s the clever lines of questioning that can take you in to the heart and soul of a man. No leading. No prompting. No interrupting.
Always ask open questions:
- “You’ve lived in Sydney, Paris and London, what is the best thing about each city?” Requires attachment response. Values and virtues can be revealed.
- “How does the offside rule work?” Requires passionate response. Articulates using further football-related terms to demonstrate enthusiasm. Shows that you care.
- “Coding Auditor, what does that mean?” Requires diligent response. Reaffirms intelligence. Opportunity to show off.
- And, really for any work related topic, “What’s the next step?” … Requires projection response. Inserts speculative scenarios for the future and life ambitions.
So, why did my Sales Director teach me the mantique? Initially I believed it was the secret to sales success in my industry, or simply his patrilineal nature. Now I realise he enlightened me simply because he is a man. He wants to be asked questions too. Perhaps the sense of self-importance, air of confidence and desire to sustain a woman’s interest is addictive.
Furthermore, wouldn’t it be nice if a man asked a woman an open question about herself?
Feel free to pass on the wisdom. You too might close a sale.