So I was having a conversation with a friend, and we began talking about how to best engage someone in conversation. This is something of utmost importance to all of us. Whether we are looking to strike up a conversation with a member of the opposite sex; or we are in sales trying to capture clients.
One thing we agreed upon is that the person we choose to engage with has to be given the pedestal. That is, we have to be more interested in them, than in presenting ourselves. We each have a deep burning desire to be appreciated, to be interesting to others, and to be loved. Showing our complete attention & interest to someone gives them a high sense of well-being. This leads to associating those wonderful feelings to us.
Now, initially, the strategy that seems to hold the highest value is a question based one. That means asking with a sense of curiosity and interest. This can be as simple as asking "Where are you from?" During my heftier telemarketing days I had a knack for selling anything under the sun, because of this simple strategy. Questions work because firstly, we feel obligated to respond (cultural habits); secondly, we like to feel important.
Adding a bit of sincerity to the questions themselves also tilts results in your favor. Tonality is an even bigger factor in communicating than words themselves. As I have mentioned before communication is universal in function. That is to say that the effective way to communicate to others is usually a great strategy to use on yourself. Asking yourself specific questions in the right emotive tone can compel you to take action - as would be the case with the buyer you sell, or date you make.