For decades, I have enjoyed starting conversations with strangers.

I had a mentor, Bill, who helped me to develop this craft.  He was great at it.  He could walk into any situation, start a conversation with someone and usually made them laugh.  Everyone loved him.  He made a great first impression.

Bill was a former football coach.  And one of  his favorite ways to make people laugh was to poke a bit of fun at his background.  He would say, “You know, there are only two kinds of coaches.  Those that have been fired – and those that are going to get fired.”

That line was particularly hilarious when Bill said it to a stranger at a restaurant one day.  Although Bill didn’t recognize the man at first – he soon knew who it was.  He had expertly delivered that one liner to Mike Ditka – who was later fired by the Chicago Bears as their head coach.

I basically tried to duplicate what Bill did until it became my second nature.  I have always considered it my goal to make people smile and laugh.  Even if they never do business with me, I think of it as a personal victory if I have made their day better.

I read a good article about first impressions that I thought you would enjoy.  It is from Fearless Selling.

Take a look.

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