I am not one to be shy when speaking to others, but I have encountered plenty of people who are not comfortable with the concept. A “BIG” part of business is networking, and with so many networking events, the shy need to break out of their shell. Here are some tips from Lady Bizness to aid everyone into finding out about others.
#1 Ask open-ended questions. If you ask a person yes and no questions, you should expect to get yes and no answers. That can inhibit the conversation and make an already uncomfortable person stay in their shell. So, we recommend asking questions that will help a person to engage. For example: Instead of asking do you have any children? Ask how do you feel about children? This is a question that forces a person to reflect on the answer and give feedback. Therefore you can get that information and ask additional questions based on their answers.
#2 Ask WHY? As grownups we tend to shy away from asking people why? But, children always ask why. Take it back to your roots and let a person defend their logic or reasoning. This allows you to see their point of view, agree, disagree, challenge, and give examples. Asking why also creates a conversation instead of a stalemate.
#3 Speak first Going to the networking event is the first step, but what good is it if you sit in a corner. Just go up to people and say “Hi, My Name is…”. People are already there to meet others, so they expect you to talk to them. And as a matter of fact they appreciate it when you talk to them, so be like Nike and Just Do it!
#4 Check your body language Arms folded, head bowed low, and texting do not say come hither. Be engaged at events and look like you want to meet others. Simply smiling and moving around a room are great ways to appear available. Have your business cards in hand to give to others and that is a way to lead into conversations. Arms being folded tend to show a guarded and un-open feeling to people. Having your head bowed, typically gives people the feeling that you don’t want them to talk to you. Texting may give the appearance of being interested in other things which are not in your immediate surroundings. So give it your best shot to look interested because if you’re not, then why did you come?
#5 Ask General Questions Where are you from? What do you do? Where did you go to school at? Do you like to travel? What events do you have coming up? Do you know of anyone who may need (xyz) services/products? When can you meet to discuss (xyz) further? These types of questions can lead to great discussions and make you a new friend, associate, or business partner.
We at Lady Bizness pride ourselves on creating relationships, so please come to any of our events if you want to meet others who are willing to openly converse.
This article is a repost from my blog LadyBiznesBiz.Blogspot.com written June 12, 2010.
Join Lady Bizness & rich Girl Consulting every Tuesday beginning June 21, 2011 from 5:30-9 pm for The Star Power Mixer at Bronze, 3815 Tinsley Drive, High Point, NC 27265. This will be your opportunity to mix and mingle with some of the biggest and brightest Business Stars. Our goal is to make this not just another networking group.
The Star Power Mixer will actually have live demonstrations to enhance your company and increase your business acumen. In addition we will have eight feature businesses every week that will provide you an opportunity to view their marketing techniques, rate them, and then see if you can do better. The Star Power Mixer will also include business knowledge from leading professionals, invaluable contacts, and allow publicity of community events.