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The Unexpected Benefits of Chit Chat for Business Networking
Posted By Deborah Shane On March 19, 2014 @ 10:30 am In Marketing Tips | 9 Comments
Do you avoid talking to people in business settings? Do you dread receptions, banquets, and other business related social events? Do you struggle to make meaningful, long term connections at work?
You’re not alone.
Many of us are apprehensive about these situations, because most of us either hate entering rooms where we don’t know anyone or hate spending time with people we don’t know well. With a little insight, practice and use of some helpful tips, you can be chit chatting at the water cooler, or your next networking event effortlessly.
Networking can be scary, hard and nerve wracking. But, it can also be fun, beneficial and yield amazing results. It’s all in the mindset going into the experience, regardless of your personality type.
Networking for business should be thoughtful, purposeful, strategic and tactical. If you are just going out to events to gather cards and then spam people, please stay home, save some trees and know that it doesn’t work.
Make sure you are attending events where the right people are gathering that relate to or represent your business goals and values and go with an open, adventurous attitude. We have all met key people at events we didn’t want to go to that turned into great resources and connections.
Here’s what I see master networkers do:
Meeting the right people, making quality connections and growing relationships is an art. Not everyone is good at or comfortable with meeting new people they don’t know. So being able to open conversations with business chit chat is a very good skill to develop.
“Bring me up to date on your latest project.”
“What do you find to be the most enjoyable aspect of your job?”
“Tell me about your history with ________.”
“How long have you been a member of this group”?
The weather, hobbies, pets, travel, books, food, music, entertainment, sports, fun activities and movies.
We know networking builds strong communities of customers, mentors, advocates, cheerleaders and allies, as a valuable support system. We don’t succeed alone. We succeed together. So having an active network makes the journey easier and more enjoyable.
Great networks are built not by amassing numbers of anyone, but about deepening connections with the right people. Master networkers find the commonality, uncover the synergy, join forces and make things happen. They work every day at making real relationships happen with a patient persistence.
Meeting great people can happen just about anywhere. Look beyond only professional settings to personal, social, community and random settings. Practice networking and developing your business chit chat skills.
Relationships will accelerate with people when you take the time to get more personal in your networking interactions and own and focus your time with people you meet – even if it’s 5 minutes.
It starts with opening the door with some fun chit chat, which can and does lead to many unexpected relationships and benefits.
So. . .what’s your favorite food?
Networking  Photo via Shutterstock
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