You’re at a networking event and you don’t know what to do, who to talk to or what to say.
Nerve wracking, isn’t it?
You could walk around asking, “So, what do you do?” Guess what – everyone is asking that, and everyone else is tired of answering the question.
When you start a conversation by asking what a person does, you are essentially saying, “So, is it worth my time to talk to you? What can you do for me?”
The person feels like they are at a job interview.
Instead, try this. As you meet them, lock eyes and then let a smile develop on your face.
By smiling after you lock eyes, you are telling them that you like what you see. If you are already smiling when you look at them, then you are smiling at the previous thing or person, not them.
It’s a psychological trick, but it works.
Look at them, catch their eye, and then let a smile grow on your face. Just like if you unexpectedly saw someone you really like.
Say hello, shake their hand if you like, make a comment about the venue, or the food, or whatever you need to break the ice.
And then say this:
“So, tell me about yourself.”
And then smile and shut up.
It will probably take them a moment to decide what to tell you about themselves. It could be anything they choose.
And that’s the beauty.
You are allowing them to have an audience where they can talk about anything they like – whatever is important to them.
You are interested in THEM. Not their business, or how much money they could make you if you got ahold of their mailing list or they promoted or your product or let you guest post on their blog.
You are simply interested in them.
Let them talk. Ask them a question if they pause, but otherwise just listen attentively.
They will think you are the most brilliant conversationalist in the entire room.
Congratulations – you’ve just made a new friend, and possibly someone you will do business with. Later.