As I mentioned in my previous blog, there are numerous outlets where we can network. It needn’t be confined to events prescribed for networking and corporate mingling. We can meet people who can have positive impact on our lives personally, spiritually or business-ally (hehehe) anywhere we conduct our day to day tasks: the gas station, the gym, the park, the train, the bus, a cousin’s- friend’s- child’s birthday party… All that is needed to network are confidence and willingness to approach others or be approached.
What can make it easier is a conversation starter; that quip or question or statement that invites a response and perhaps creates dialogue and VOILA!!!…we have networked.
Conversation starters are situational…opportunistic even. If a situation arises that gives us the opportunity to start a conversation, then we do it. If a person is standing next to us (within ear shot) in a train or by the bar at the party, these are examples of opportunities for conversation. If the person we want to meet is across the room, we position ourselves within that person’s circle to make a conversation possible.
Of course, let me be very clear that we only start conversations when we truly want to; not because we are being ‘forced’ to or ‘we guess we should do it for our business ’. The insincerity will be obvious and will rather leave a negative or false impression of us, let alone our business.
I thought I would list a few starters that I have used and some that I researched. Remember, let the question FIT the situation aptly (or at least contrast with it tastefully or humorously).
· Wow! It’s hot today! Was it this hot yesterday?
(Yea yea..you KNOW it was hot yesterday, but they don’t know YOU know!)
· What a great event. The music is blazing and people are having a great time. This was really well planned
(This is especially great with the PLANNERS of the party!)
· That dress is hot on you or That is a realllllly nice dress or I love that shirt.
(of course, if it is true. And with this- we don’t want to sound like we are flirting. So choose the statement that gives the least mixed signals)
· Did you hear about the earthquake in LA?
(If they heard- allow them to speak about it. If they didn’t- offer info you have)
· You guys make a beautiful couple. How long have you been together?
There are too many to list, but I hope this was helpful or at least inspiring to go get ‘em! Now go forth and network!
Paula Yee Sing-Edwards
YaadNoyz Production LLC
www.yaadnoyzmagazine.com (coming soon)