I’ll admit it. I’m a natural born introvert. Parties, mixers, and networking events are not the most comfortable places for me. Add to that, I’m also a kinesthetic learner, which simply means I’m a hands on guy. Unfortunately, kinesthetic people tend to look down when asked a question.
For years I had trouble with this. People would say that I was quiet and unengaging. Conversations lagged. I didn’t smile much and I just hated small talk. As a result, it was hard for me to build relationships with others. I’d give them my business card and never hear from them again. Phone calls weren’t returned. My rolodex was empty.
The bottom line was, if you met me at a networking event, I came across as shy and was likely to look down and away if you asked me a question. Not ideal for developing a trusting relationship.
Thankfully, in 2005 I discovered a book by Nicholas Boothman entitled How to Connect in Business in 90 Seconds or Less. This book literally changed my life. Soon I was making eye contact, and had a great smile. I became the life of the party with incredible conversations, and it all came about because of three simple tips he shared in the book.
Here they are…
- Making Eye Contact: To naturally make eye contact with someone, just mentally make a note of their eye color. This forces you to look them in the eye, build rapport, but not stare at them like a zombie. As I started doing this it seemed strange at first, but soon became a habit. This made a tremendous difference with first impressions.
- Smiling: To give someone a great smile when you meet them is not hard at all. Just say the word “great” under your breath a few times as you walk up to them. Within seconds that lowly frown will be replaced with a glowing smile. It sounds crazy, but it really works.
- Asking Open Ended Questions: People love to talk about themselves. Instead of talking incessantly about yourself, ask the person you meet some open ended questions to draw them out. Notice what they are wearing and the things around you. Find questions that relate to the circumstances. Once you get them talking, they will think you are a very interesting person because you are talking about them.
Once I started using these tips, parties and mixers became fun. People treated me completely different than before. Conversations became lively and engaging. My rapport with others increased, and relationships formed.
The good news is, Nicholas has updated his book, which is now called Convince Them in 90 Seconds or Less: How to Connect in Business and is better than ever. You’ll not only learn the three tips above, but also how to relate to different learning styles, build rapport quickly, and package your personality for results. Soon you’ll discover the secrets to network like a pro.
Question: What Networking Tips Work For You?