Coldplay, Your 2nd Favourite Band

I was at a friend’s pad having a few cheeky drinks. People I’d not met before were also there, adding to the fun.

As inevitably happens in such circumstance, we moaned about the DJ. The rest of us threatened to ‘steal’ his speaker’s connection and play proper music.

It occured to me what an interesting, and unfortunately repeatable, conversation you have around music.

You’ll hear people say, ‘yeah, I’m really into my music’. So naturally, you probe;

‘What’s your favourite music at the moment?’

It seems an inocuous gambit.

Yet it’s amazing that nearly every time, people stutter.

And all they can do, ‘under pressure’, is say something straight from a global media stable. Like Coldplay.

Which is rubbish. For as good as Coldplay are – and I’ve seen them produce fireworks live – they can surely only be most people’s second favourite act. Not the first, hey?

So, lately I’ve developed a different question.

‘What was the last album you listened to twice in a row?’

You still get the odd mumble of hesitation, but most people can remember something. Even if they’re not all that happy to admit to it! The important thing is, a genuine patform for a decent chat is made.

This has interesting sales slants across many areas.

For starters, when uncovering ‘problems’, are you leading with the obvious question – one which doesn’t really uncover anything and makes the person you ask feel a bit uncomfortable that they can’t respond the way they feel they should?

‘What’s your problem’, albeit not phrased as bluntly as that of course, is a natural course to follow. But there’s way better. It’s likely to betray inexperience in the asker. It’s also prone to raise the shackles of any prospect along the ‘problems-I’ve-no-problems-how-dare-you…’ line.

What other query could you pose that disarms the prospect, makes them think in a new manner, and gets them talking?

I almost feel as though asking about ‘the favourite band’ reveals only ‘symptom’, which is obvious and old-school, whereas ‘the last album twice listened’ is more ’cause’ and ‘process’ new-school.

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