What Kind of Dogs Do You Have?

It is interesting how attentive we become when someone unexpectedly asks us about something out of the ordinary, especially if it is within a business context.


I recently had a call set up with a potential client and, when I called him at the designated time, the first question he asked was what kind of dogs I have.  My first reaction was to smile and start filtering through my mind to figure out how he knew I had dogs.  While I love my pets, they are the last thing I am thinking about when I am on a business call (unless they start barking downstairs).  

Two dogs on a boat

Suddenly, it dawned on me that he had read the introduction on my website. I talk about my husband and my two adorable grown sons, my two dogs, Etta James, a French Bulldog, and Emmy Lou, a Cairn Terrier (mixed with something else).  I also have a beta fish named Wulfy (can’t leave him out).   


As I reflect on that conversation, it reminded me of the things I learned from reading Dale Carnegie’s book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” The best way to get someone’s attention and cooperation is to figure out what drives them.  That will get their attention.  Our call starting with a conversation about my pets turned to a discussion about his pets.   (He had four dogs, five cats, and several horses).   It is a conversation that I will not forget and indeed started our relationship off on a positive note.

Since we do a lot of business on social media now, communication style and subjects seem to be becoming more casual.  We feel that we know each other better because we often learn about each other’s personal lives.  We are getting the full picture of who a person is, which gives us more to work with when we relate to them in the business world.  Understanding who you are working with is the key to understanding what drives them.  Everybody wins.


Has anyone else experienced this shift as an advantage?