The Vital Role it Plays
You are now at the stage where a new contact is made and the appropriate opening remarks have gone well. What happens next? Do you start to 'sell'?
No! The most important thing now is small talk!
The experienced networker knows the most important conversation is small talk. Big business can only come as the relationship starts to build. How else can you find out about the other person and their interests if the small talk doesn't take place?
Small talk can include travel, the workplace, sports, family or matters of current interest.
These are powerful open questions, which should elicit information and show your listener what an "interested" person you are.
Be a good listener and encourage others to talk about themselves. Paraphrase to show you have actively listened, this will be noticed.
DO NOT SELL.
Networking and selling are like oil and water; they never mix. It's far more important to be interested than interesting. Any networking event is simply the platform to build on for the future. Networking doesn't work when people do too much talking and not enough listening.
Consider your own approach:
When you are at a networking event, do you:
Spend a lot of time talking?
Spend a lot of time listening?
Even if you spend a lot of time listening, the time you invest can still be wasted unless you maximise it by:
(c) 2005 Will Kintish