I’ve always thought that having a journalism background makes me a much better salesperson.
Not because selling has much to do with journalism, although anyone who has ever pitched a story in an editorial meeting understands the value of sales skills. But because being a journalist made me curious—curious about people, curious about how the world works, and curious about my spot in it.
I love to ask questions, and I’ve always taught my sales students that the best way to build rapport with people is to ask a lot of questions. Curious salespeople simply do better, because their customers understand that they are interested in more than the sale.
You’ll never go wrong asking lots of (appropriate) questions of a customer or a prospect. People love to talk about themselves, and they love to feel important, and asking questions allows them to do both of those things.