We are 5 posts into our 12 tip networking series on transforming your results from networking socials. Up to this point you’ve;
1. Decided you want to get more from business-networking events
2. Did your homework prior to attending
3. Have a goal to make quality connections, not focus on quantity
4. You’ve worked up the courage to leave your friends and approach someone you don’t know.
Networking: Now what?
In the first few seconds, your new “connection” will be wondering if you are just like the others who are trying to push business and sell, sell, sell. So as you introduce yourself, I suggest you simply give your name. When they respond in kind, simply ask, “So, REPEAT THEIR NAME, what do you do?” or “What line of work are you in?” or something along those lines.
Repeating their name will help you remember it. Your goal is to get them talking about themselves and their business. If they give you a brief answer like, “I’m in financing, what do you do?” Resist the urge to launch into an intriguing explanation about how you solve client problems.
Your goal is to get this person talking about their business. So, put the focus back to them. You can respond, “I’m in automotive servicing.” Then toss it back to them, “Financing, so what kind of financing?”
It is critical that your new connection feel you have a genuine interest in them. And it won’t be phony – because you really do, don’t you? You want to know as much as possible. They now know you, but they don’t yet like you – and believe it or not, the more you get them to talk about themselves, the more it will contribute to their liking you.