Networking For Success The 3 Phases Of Small Talk

Networking For Success The 3 Phases Of Small Talk

Networking for​ Success: the​ 3 Phases of​ Small Talk
In my mind, small talk basically consists of​ 3 phases:
The ice breaker
Get to​ know you better
Graceful exit
So let’s go ahead and​ briefly touch on each phase and​ in​ turn give you some concrete takeaway strategies that you can apply immediately for​ each.
Phase 1: the​ Ice Breaker
So you attend a​ networking event… you make eye contact with someone you want to​ meet, you approach them and​ introduce yourself… now what?
Well having a​ few powerful, open-ended ice breaker questions should certainly do the​ trick .​
for​ example:
A tried and​ true ice breaker is​ the​ proverbial, So Jeff, what do you do? In other words Jeff, what business are you in? Now people love talking about themselves and​ their business so the​ idea here is​ to​ get them started talking .​
Most people also love to​ hear the​ sound of​ their own voice so the​ ice breaker question is​ critical and​ essentially sets the​ tone and​ potential for​ the​ conversation.
Another good ice breaker could be, So Jeff, what brings you here today?
Now notice on these sample ice breaker questions I’ve repeated the​ person’s name .​
First off by doing this it​ will help burn that person’s name into my head so I​ don’t forget it .​
Secondly, people love the​ sound of​ their own name – so don’t be afraid to​ use it​ throughout your conversation.
Phase 2: Get To Know You Better
Depending on the​ results of​ the​ ice breaker questions you should by now be able to​ determine whether or​ not it​ makes sense to​ get to​ know this person better .​
if​ not, simply skip this phase and​ go into your graceful exit .​
But if​ you do see a​ synergy here, by all means try some of​ these again open-ended, getting to​ know you better questions:
So Jeff, how did you get into that business?
What types of​ challenges keep you up at​ night?
Jeff, help me out here, draw me a​ mental picture, what does success look like for​ you and​ your business?
What’s new in​ your industry these days? Any events or​ trends that are shaping it?
Now you can use one, two, all of​ these questions, or​ more if​ the​ situation permits .​
However, be careful here not to​ dominate and​ monopolize someone’s time .​
if​ you’re at​ a​ networking event, there’s a​ good chance that they’re there to​ network and​ meet other people as​ well, so it​ may make sense to​ go to​ the​ graceful exit phase and​ encourage that you two get together in​ the​ near future.
Phase 3: Graceful Exit
It’s vastly important how you leave a​ conversation – as​ this is​ the​ last impression you make on that person .​
We’re not looking to​ create any animosity here by rudely blowing someone off .​
the​ key here is​ as​ this phase’s title states, is​ to​ exit gracefully .​

A key difference between the​ types of​ questions or​ statements you make in​ this phase as​ opposed to​ the​ previous two phases is​ that now you shift to​ using close-ended ones .​
for​ example:
Introduce the​ person to​ someone else that may be of​ interest to​ them and​ then politely excuse yourself .​
the​ dialogue can go something like this: Hey Cindy I’d like you to​ meet Jeff .​
Jeff’s in​ the​ xyz industry as​ well and​ I​ just felt that you two should meet .​
Now they exchange pleasantries and​ you immediately exit the​ conversation by saying something like, Well you two probably have a​ bunch to​ talk about .​
Cindy I’ll catch up with you later and​ Jeff, it​ was great meeting you.
Another example of​ a​ graceful exit may be: I​ can certainly see some synergy between what you and​ I​ do .​
Can I​ give you a​ call next week to​ set up some time to​ talk further?
Or, it’s been great meeting you, will I​ see you at​ future meetings?
And lastly, wow, this is​ quite an​ event don’t you think? Well we should probably keep moving… it​ was great meeting you Jeff!
So now you're aware of​ and​ armed with some actual strategies for​ the​ 3 phases of​ small talk .​
the​ key now is​ to​ get in​ the​ game and​ practice, practice, practice and​ you too can see the​ results you would like for​ your business.

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