Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Be prepared to make a great connection.

Dear Friends,

You have a meeting coming up and you're going to be in a room full of other business people.
It could be a networking meeting, a conference, a convention, a party, my classes or workshops, or an awards night celebration.

You've decided that you're going to network a little.
Expand your contacts, meet someone who may lead you to a new business.

So, you're thinking "should I plan ahead or just let things happen spontaneously?"

Wouldn't it be great if great connections happened spontaneously?
Unfortunately what happens is a conversation more like this.
"Hi, how are you?"
"I'm fine, how about you?"
"Just great, what's new?"
"Not much. Busy. What are you up to?"
"Same old stuff. Nothing new."

That is a conversation in search of a topic.

Instead BE PREPARED to be spontaneous.

Plan your answer to the question, "What's new?" or "How are you?"

Here's a few tips you may want to consider.
Have a plan to meet someone new.
Ask a couple of provocative questions.
Listen intensely.
If you did maybe your conversation would be more like this:

"Hi, are you Jeff Stanton? My name is Dawn Jackson. I've heard a lot about you and the great work you're doing and wanted to meet you. The people in my office are still buzzing about your training. Can I ask you a quick question?"

(Some sample opening questions)

"What advice could you give me. I'm new to the business."
"What is the best way for me to get started in building my referral business?"
"How did you get started?"
"Could I get your opinion on something?"
"Could you give me a little direction on a specific situation?"
"What's the best thing I could do in today's market?"
"How do you keep in touch with your clients?"
"What one thing can I do to build a better relationship with my co-workers?"

You get the point!
There is a system working here.

Know in advance who you'd like to meet. It should be 2 or 3 people. You may not meet them all but at least plan to. Think about what they do and what you could like to learn from them.

Relax and have some fun.
Yes, I said fun.
Be honest.

How much fun is listening to the same old, same old, conversation?

Be prepared to quickly recognize, acknowledge and compliment what they do. Ask an open-ended question to a specific issue. Be precise. It helps to get a directed answer.

People like to talk about what they do and how they help others. They are comfortable with it. It makes for good conversation. They really like having their opinion asked. This is how relationships are built.

Spice it up and ask some planned, well thought out, questions of some interesting people you would like to meet and speak with.

This means all you have to do is know a few simple questions to ask.
They'll do all the talking.

Simply asking:
Could I get your thoughts on this?
Could I get your opinion on a situation?
Could I get some advice on an issue?"

Now listen.
Focus your attention on them.
Don't fool with your drink or gaze around the room while they're talking. Listen with your eyes and your body language.

Repeat back a brief recap that may begin with:
"Let me make sure I understood what you said" or
"In other words you said...."

Briefly repeating comments to how it may relate to you makes the connection. "So what that means to me is....is that right?"

That my friend is the point to meeting someone new.

Making Great Connections is all about relationships.

Thanks for spending 3 minutes with me...
The best is yet to be!

On Your Team
Jeffrey Stanton ITI, CLC, CNE, CSSN, WOW
Your Trusted Advisor For Life

One of the fastest ways to build a successful business is by training. Now, with me, I like to invest significant time immersing myself in training, while some people prefer to take it in bite-size chunks. Whatever your preference is, now is the best time to contact me.

If you have found this tip useful, please share it with any friends, family, colleagues and associates who you think will be interested. Feel free to print it (with credit and subscription information) and continue to enjoy the tips. I am always grateful for any comments, criticisms or other feedback that you may have. Please send them to feedback@jeffreysjournal.com

Certified negotiation Expert (CNE) Designation Training

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