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Nuggets
Strategies for Starting Networking Conversations  E-mail

Last month we talked about elegant exits – how to end a
conversation gracefully. Of course, in order to end a conversation,
you first have to start one.   So how do you start a conversation?

The easiest way to start a conversation is to simply to walk up to
someone, offer your hand, and say, “Hi, I’m Cindy” (or whatever
your name is).  People respond well to a genuine, straightforward
approach. 

Be prepared to follow up with a question.  People love to talk
about themselves, all you need to do is ask a few questions and
then listen. 

What’s something you’re interested in that you could use to start a
conversation? 
Perhaps it’s travel:  “With summer coming up, I’ve been thinking
about vacations. What's your favorite travel destination?” 

Maybe it’s movies. “I’m looking for a movie to see this weekend.
What have you seen lately that you would recommend?” 

Ask creative, open-ended questions, questions that use who, what,
where, when or how.  Stay away from questions that can be answered
with a simple Yes or No. 

At your next networking event, practice initiating conversations
with five people.  Prepare some topics in advance.  And, if you run
out of things to ask, you can always fall back on these:

What brought you to this event? 
Where else do you normally network?
How did you get started in your business?
What do you like best about what you do?
What’s the best thing to happen in your business recently?

 

You are welcome to reprint and distribute copies of our articles provided you follow our reprint guidelines .   

Copyright © 2012, The Networking Gurus, Donna Feldman and Cindy Rold.

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  Cindy Rold and Donna Feldman
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