When meeting a new networking prospect, do NOT hog the conversation and start talking about yourself, your business, how cool you are, or your ideal prospect.
A much better choice is to invest the lion’s share of the discussion asking questions about that person and their business. Find out what progress means to them.
You make a much more powerful impression,
a much more memorable impression,
being interested in others
rather than trying to
be interesting to others.
This should ease your mind and help you relax because now the pressure is off. All you have to do is work to answer these questions.
What is most important to that person at this moment?
What can I do to help this person progress?
Start by asking the person you are chatting with Who, What, Where, Why and How kinds of questions.
“The wise man is not the one who gives you the right answers, but the right questions.”
-- Claude Levi-Strauss
People want and need to talk about THEIR business, NOT YOURS. That’s cool – encourage them. It gets you valuable follow-up info and saves you from having to come up with something witty. Just listen and ask questions relating to what they say and people will think you ROCK.
Always be thinking:
How can I help this person progress toward his or her goals?
Give direct eye contact and be totally focused on trying to get to know the other person better. People like to talk about how they got to where they are.
The more rapport you have with an individual, the more receptive they will be to establishing a relationship with you. Ask conversational questions that bring out the contact’s uniqueness. Listen carefully and concentrate on what the person is saying. Get curious. It makes no sense to ask questions if you are not interested in the answers.
Contributed by: Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success