Let Them Talk First
When meeting and networking with new people, one of the things that’s pretty effective during the communication is to let the other person talk first. After the greetings and introductions, let the person you have just met talk first. You can do this by asking them a question about where they are from, what they do for a living, what brought them to the networking event, etc. Allowing the other person to talk first is a way to immediately establish trust because you are taking the time to listen to what that person has to say. People, in general, love to talk about themselves and share what’s going on their lives so let them talk. Moreover, if being in networking situations freaks you out a little bit, this is also a way for you to take some of the pressure off yourself!
I will caution against drilling a person you just met with questions so much so that they can’t get a word in to ask you anything about yourself. I have been in plenty of networking situations in which I felt like I was being interrogated because of question after question they were throwing at me.
Remember, allowing the other person to talk about themselves first and drilling them with questions are two different things!
What other tips do you have for effective networking??
Dr. Carmen April is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2014 Nashville Emerging Leader Award (NELA) Winner, a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter. Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Entrepreneurship for College Students and Young Professionals.