Networking Like a Pro!
Networking! For many people, it’s not instinctual or natural, but there is no denying that it is an important skill both internally and externally to getting ahead professionally.
The goal of networking is not about selling! It’s about making a connection with someone that potentially leads to a relationship. It’s about how you can become a resource for someone, how you can be a connector to introducing them to others. It’s about creating value in their lives.
But how? The hardest part of networking is often what to say? Through my years of experience at networking, research, and working with executives all over the country I’ve learned what works.
Consider the questions below a “script,” a “template” for you to begin to create your own personal tool box of real language. Dialogue that will help you get more comfortable with all the “small talk.” It often simply begins with a hello! “Hi, my name is _____.”
The more you practice some of this language, the more you make it your own, the easier it will get, and the more fun you will have at networking.
POSITION YOURSELF AS A RESOURCE/POTENTIAL SOLUTION:
1) “What’s the most important priority to you/your company right now?”
2) “What kind of challenges are you facing?”
3) “Now isn’t the time or place, but maybe your “problem/challenge” is something I can (or think I can) help you with… may I give you a call?” –or– “Please let me know if there’s anything I can do for you… or help you in any way.”
4) “I’ve enjoyed meeting you. Let’s find a better time to continue the conversation.”
5) “I’m really interested in learning more about what you do, but I don’t want to keep you from the chance to meet other people here tonight. Why don’t I call/email you tomorrow and we can find a time to get together.”
6) “I’m very interested/impressed by what your company is doing and I would enjoy talking with you about it further.”
7) “I think you may be interested in several clients we/I work with and I’d be happy to introduce you to them if you would like. Should we re-connect sometime soon?”
8) “I’ve enjoyed meeting you. Why don’t we get together sometime and find out if there’s anything we can do to help each other.”
9) “Who would be a good prospect for me to connect you with?”
10) “Who can I introduce you to here tonight?”
11) “It sounds like I might know people you want to meet for your business and vice-versa. Would you be interested in talking about this further? Perhaps we can help each other with referrals and introductions.”
1) “Thank you ___ (name). If you don’t mind, I’m going to keep mingling… it was nice meeting you.” –or– “I just got here. I’m going to look around a bit more.”
2) “Do you have a business card? I’d like to stay in touch. Thank you. Bye for now.” –or- “”It’s time for me to head out. I’d love to talk with you again. May I have your card/contact information?”
3) “If you will excuse me, my time is limited here, so I better move on. Great talking with you.”
4) “It was a pleasure meeting you. Thank you, but if you don’t need mind, I need to catch up with a colleague/friend/spouse… so I will say goodbye for now.”
5) “Have you met anyone from “X” industry or “X” company that you can introduce me to?”
6) “I’ll leave you to get acquainted.” and/or “There’s someone I need to catch up with.”
7) “If you don’t mind, I could really use some food/drink. Great talking with you. Thank you.”
8) “Ineed to get going in a couple of minutes before the next speaker/event, is there anything else you would like to share with me before I have to go?”
9) “If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to find the restroom.”
10) “If you’ll excuse me, I just saw someone I’ve been meaning to catch up with. Nice meeting you.”
MAKE ENDING THE CONVERSATION ABOUT THE OTHER PERSON:
1) “You probably want to find a seat before the presentation begins, I hope you enjoy it.”
2) “You might want to get in that line for the bar/food before it gets too long. Nice chatting with you.”
3) “I’m sure there are other people here that you want to meet. So I’ll let you continue networking. Have a nice evening.”
4) “I don’t want to take up anymore of your time. Nice chatting with you.”
1) “Thanks so much for that interesting perspective. I need to go, but I’ll be sure to tell ___about ___.”
2) “Thank you so much for your time. That’s amazing… who knew that ____. Good luck with ___ and thanks again.”
LITTLE INTEREST IN RECONNECTING:
1) “It was nice talking with you. I’m sure we’ll run into each other at another one of these events.”
2) “Perhaps our paths will cross again and we can talk more about ___ then.”