It was December 1954, and my parents were entertaining Mamie and Ike Eisenhower at our Virginia farm. We had a friend there who was an avid hunter, and he put some pheasants in the field for Ike to shoot. When Eisenhower arrived they said, "Mr. President, would you like to go out and shoot or stay in by the fire?" He turned to me, a 22-year-old home from the Navy, and said, "What do you think we should do, Bill? I though, here's a world leader who brought the Allies to victory because he probably asked that question many times of the people he was dealing with. And I realized that he was successful because he knew the right questions to ask and he made people feel they were participating. So during my career I've always tried to get people to tell me what they thought. In the end, we didn't go hunting. I said we should stay inside, and Eisenhower was delighted. I think he'd spent enough cold nights in his life. --As told to Fortune Magazine
Most of us won't be having conversations with presidents, but I thought this was a great little reminder for your conversations with buyers and sellers. Remember sessioin 3? If they aren't answering your questions and participating, you aren't selling.