Do you worry about what you will talk about when you network?
Do you worry that when you go networking you will run out of things to say or there’ll be awkward silences.
There are two really simple things you can do to keep the conversation going.
The first is to imagine that you are shining a spotlight on the other person and just keep asking them about them! If they spend the whole time talking about themselves, they will think you’re fascinating! And you will have lots of information to help you decide if this person could be someone you want to build a relationship with.
The second is to wear something that they can talk about. It can be anything … jewellery, a bag, bright tie, lapel pin (showing a group membership or a charity you support) and then have something interesting to say about it.
For example, I often wear a large amethyst pendant that I bought from Wendy Warren Jewellery. The pendant is large, a deep violet and is often commented on. I could just say thank you but I always tell a story behind it. I bought it at a charity event in aid of Pancreatic Cancer organised by a networking friend of mine and depending on my mood I will mention something about the reason I bought it … it matches my engagement ring, how I’ve always loved Amethysts since I was a child, why the event I went to was so important or how Wendy’s jewellery is all sourced by her … and if you want something specific, she will try to find it for you.
Off the back of the story I tell, long conversations can start … about the other person’s preference of Gold to Silver, supporting independent companies and small businesses, why I love Amethysts and how I chipped my engagement ring, the scourge that is Cancer, the benefits of networking, charity events … the list is endless!
It’s a great way for the other person to find out something about you apart from what job you have.
And if they are wearing something too, be sure to comment on it and see where the conversations take you!