Networking Tips for the Lazy

Networking Tips For The Lazy

 

It’s not what you know it’s who you know. But very few people feel comfortable talking to strangers. In fact I remember mom and dad telling me something about strangers…not to talk to them.

But over time, that tune changes. In business we are told to schmooze to network. But do you find networking at an event or conference terribly uncomfortable?

That because networking is too much work.

If you are like me, you try to find the easiest way from point A to point B. The common term for this is “lazy.”

So what if you, like me, are lazy? Can the lazy excel at networking? I believe they can.

I’m going to share with you three lazy networking tools that, if used, will take you from a networking nobody to a networking All Star. So get your pens out or print this page out and keep it in your back pocket.

1. The Texas Two Step

This is a simple formula you can use to start and maintain a conversation with anyone. The beauty of this formula is that you don’t have to have anything in common or anything to say to these people for it to work. And using this tool, you can literally maintain a conversation forever. here is how it works.

Step one: Ask an open ended question. “open ended” means it doesn’t have a yes or no answer.

(try “what brings you out to this lovely event?”)

Step Two: Make a statement about what the person said.

(“oh, you are a board member, I’ve never been on a board.)

Start over: Ask another open ended question. It can be random or a follow up question.

(What made you decide to join the board?)

Then make a statement about what the person said

Rinse and repeat. Don’t worry after doing this with a couple people, you will see how easy it is.

2. Mirroring

The next tool is built on a simple premise. We like ourselves. We like people who look like us, sound like us, and act like us. What you are going to do is copy their movement, their posture, the tone and volume of their voice. But start by copying their stance.

if you are talking to someone who has their arms folded, fold your arms. If they put their hands in their pockets, put your hands in your pockets. Be their mirror.

But Matt, it’s going to be obvious that I’m mirroring this person. Here is the kicker, nobody ever realizes you are doing it. Go back and try this with people at work. You’ll be amazed. You’ll notice that we naturally mirror people we have a good rapport with. So, by mirroring, you are artificially making people feel like they have a good  rapport with you.

3. Gifting

One of the seven habits of highly effective people is “think with the end in mind.” So as soon as you start talking to someone, you need to start thinking about how you are going to get away from that person. That’s where gifting comes in.  Ask yourself, “What can you give this person that they would find valuable?” It can be an article, a book, an introduction to someone you know, a baseball cap, whatever.

This is how you are going to end your conversation. Explain why you must leave, then promise them a gift asking for thier contact information.

(“I see some other people I need to talk to. But if you have your contact information, I’ll send you a great article I read about serving on a board. “)

When you get back to the office, Google yourself up a nice article about being on a board and send it to your new contact.

(“Here is that article I told you about!”)

Be sure to send your gift. By sending the gift, you are showing that you keep your promises. Making and keeping promises is very important in the world of relationships.

By using the Texas Two Step, Mirroring, and Gifting, your next networking event will be so easy that you will swear you are cheating. And don’t worry, you are cheating!

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