A few months ago I wrote a post titled, Building Conversation. In it I shared a few tips on how to move into the conversation-building mode. Introverts tend to listen so much in other's conversations that they don't know how to contribute, or build, on what others are saying.
Recently a reader - also a self-identified introvert - offered his perspective to building conversation while networking. This great perspective is below.
I would add a practical point that I often share with those seeking to do “networking,” which is to focus on the relationship rather than demonstrating “expertise” or “selling” one’s product or services.
Begin with questions about the individual, what they do, successes at work, family life, and travel. The opportunities will come in the conversation to take the next step, or may come at some point in the future.
I find that viewing such conversations as opportunities for building a new relationship is a great approach for a few reasons. First, such topics are easy to handle. Second, the introvert doesn’t have to do much talking, rather they are asking questions. Third, the conversation seems natural and not like some kind of forced or artificial networking effort. Lastly, with some foundation, it is easier to transition into points you would like to make (i.e. networking, selling, etc.).
Let me know how these specific tips resonate to you. In the meantime, Thank you to Russ Dempsey for supplying the suggestions!
What suggestions do you have that you would like us to consider? Please contribute.