- "Everyone who was ever a guest of Theodore Roosevelt was astonished at the range and diversity of his knowledge. Whether his visitor was a cowboy or a Rough Rider, a New York politician or a diplomat, Roosevelt knew what to say. And how was it done? The answer is simple. Whenever Roosevelt expected a visitor, he sat up late the night before, reading up on the subject in which he knew his guest was particularly interested. For Roosevelt knew, as all leaders know, that the royal road to a person's heart is to talk about the things he or she treasures most."
A salesman had tried every sales technique to get the bread sells of a local hotel manager for four years. He went to the same social functions the manager attended. He even rented rooms in the hotel and lived there for a time. But he failed.
He finally changed his tactics and learn that the manager belonged to a society of hotel executives called the Hotel Greeters of America. He not only belonged but was president of the organization. So the next day the salesman began talking about the Greeters. The manager talked to him for over half and hour and before the salesman left he had joined the Greeters. Never was the topic of bread sales discussed. After a few days, the steward of the hotel phoned the salesman to come over with samples and prices. "I don't know what you did to the old boy, the steward said, but he is sure sold on you!" After four years, one conversation about what the manager was interested in is all it took to get the sale.
It would be nice if everyone took the time to get to know a small fact that interest other people that they have interactions with. It seems it would make communication a lot easier and less tense.