A little while ago I received an email from someone I had met months before in which I was thanked profusely for my behaviour. It seems that at this initial meeting I had done something unusual.
After an initial exchange of pleasantries, all I said was "How can what I do be of assistance to you?"
Simple words indeed and a genuine enquiry as at the time I had no idea what we hoped to accomplish together.
Anyway the point is that since being reminded of this meeting I have come to better grasp the benefit of asking an open-ended, or "open possibilities", question.
If, in our business dealings we concentrate much more on "what can I do for you?" rather than the more typical "what can you do for me?" position, we can get rapidly to a place of meaning and purpose in our relationships.
Far too often at networking events, I witness business owners thrusting business cards and flyers into people's hands while following the misguided belief that this is effective promotion.
To my mind it's about as effective as those after-hours telemarketing calls --- you may well convert one in a hundred, but you risk off-siding the other ninety-nine.
So, how can I help you?