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50-80% of people self-identify as shy. If you’ve ever felt uncomfortable in a room full of strangers, this episode is for you. Susan shares practical tips and phrases you can use tomorrow at networking events and out in public to develop real relationships with people.
Takeaways + Tactics
Be nice to everyone in every room – you never know who the real influencers are
Stop focusing on yourself – Look for ways to make others more comfortable with you
Transition from small talk to big talk with stories
We started with a common situation – the networking event – and Susan gave some great practical tips. Focus on making others comfortable with you. Recognize that at least half the people in that room consider themselves shy, and you can help them by starting conversations and getting to know them. Stick with small talk at first, and don’t bombard people with questions. You have to EARN the right to ask big questions.
Susan also pointed out how it’s hard to tell who the influencers are in a room, and even if you identify them, it doesn’t mean you should only focus on, or be nice to, those influencers. You never who knows who, so be nice to everyone in every room. Remember the old saying, The roof is the introduction. In other words, the fact that you are there in that room with that group of people gives you something in common to start conversations.
Then we dive into another common situation – when we’re chatting with someone who expresses interest or need in what we offer. Susan explained that we shouldn’t ignore or shrink back from that interest, but follow up with a question: “Oh really, what were you thinking about?” Then offer some idea and ask another question. Be careful not to grill people. “The only grilling you should do is BBQ, not people,” Susan pointed out, “Make it conversational and natural.”
We also covered how to follow up and stay in contact with someone you meet at an event to draw that person into a deeper relationship. Susan explained how she keeps up with current events through newspapers and TheWeek.com, and why that’s so important. Susan also pointed out that business cards are still important, and you should take cues from the other person on whether to offer your business card. Susan also gave a simple script for email follow up and meeting with people you meet at events.
The big takeaway is to focus on others first. Make them comfortable, make small talk, share genuine stories and build relationships first. Don’t look at people as prospects!
Susan RoAne is a keynote speaker and best-selling author of How To Work A Room, which recently celebrated it’s 25th publication anniversary. Learn more about Susan and receive your free ebook at her website: www.susanroane.com and pick up a copy of her books at local bookseller to support local businesses! If you have a burning question, email Susan
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