Does it come easy to you to strike up a conversation with a stranger?
If so, you are fortunate. These skills do not come easily to many people.
Even stars and celebrities will tell you how shy and retiring they are.
But many of us have to overcome our inhibition and make contact with others for social as well as for commercial purposes.
The first words you utter to a stranger set the tone of your relationship for some time. A person you see as clever and charming, but not threatening, will inspire you to reach out to them. If, however, you feel embarrassed or think the person who starts talking to you is not very nice or clever the relationship has got off to a bad start. How do you avoid this happening and immediately get on with someone?
It’s easy to say questions are the answer but what sort of questions? A question can be frightening, dull, uninspiring, unimaginative or just plain boring. Or it can show genuine interest, care and a desire to engage and be helpful. What makes it clear that we care? The answer is curiosity kindly displayed.
Good networking requires that you are methodical and organised in your contact record keeping, that you brief yourself enough to have a sensible interest in the people you are meeting, that you understand how and why to use your business cards, that you follow up contacts that look promising and keep warm those that have already worked.
You can learn how to do all this with a combination of practical tips on contact discipline and role-plays to practice conversations. An hour’s free chat with us – by Skype if you like – will tell us how many sessions you are likely to need and what they will cost you.
If you’d like to do that please email us at [email protected]. We’ll respond very quickly.