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Thursday, March 11, 2010
As we approach another weekend, I'm reminded of a networking coffee I had several weeks ago when I used easy small talk and was rewarded with business!
As many savvy business networkers know, building relationship is the key to connecting effectively with folks in business. Small talk is a step that gently builds relationship. One of the easiest entries into small talk when a weekend approaches is to ask, "What are you doing this weekend?" Or when a new week begins, starting with "How was your weekend?"
I sat down for coffee with a political campaign advisor to be introduced to a consultant friend of his and innocently asked, "So how was your weekend?" Without a beat he responded, "Good, it was calm except for Sunday, when I had a meeting with one of my clients. Oh,I wanted to ask you if you'd consider working with him. He could use your presentational coaching."
There you have it. Within 3 minutes or so the coffee turned into a business opportunity which has since become a sale. And just so you know, I didn't keep the conversation on the potential sale, but I responded with interest and the desire to learn more later, which pleased him. Then I brought things right back to small talk.
Using the power of connecting with folks is the key to disarming tension, unlocking opportunities and building profitable relationships of mutual interest. There is nothing like it. If you're in business, the referral prospects is the easiest to close as well as to work with, for they like and need you before you even meet them. They've been referred by someone they already know, like or trust and they come into the opportunity wanting to solutions vs. wanting to stand in judgment.
Connecting with folks requires relaxing. This means being flexible with someone's communication style, listening to what's on their mind and being open. It involves not only getting to know them but letting them get to know you. The more they like being around you, the better the chance you will build a relationship that leads to social, personal or business connections you truly appreciate.
So enjoy small talk. Use it. Get to know people and let them get to know you. What comes from that open exchange uncovers personalities that attract and amaze us. What a way to enjoy the people around us!
at 3:47 PM