What’s the Weather Got to do with Networking?

Many consider discussing the weather to be appropriate small talk.  Perhaps great stuff to spend 5 or 10 minutes talking about.  Well, think again.  When you spend a great deal of time talking about the weather, especially around here in Seattle, you are going to be doing a fair amount of complaining.  And complaining is not a good thing to be doing when you are networking with other people.

Remember, networking is about building relationships with folks.  It is about teaching people about what you do, who you serve, how you serve them, and why anyone should care about that.  It is about creating the knowing, liking, and trusting that is so important to the growth of your business.  It is quite more powerful and good for you and your business if you spend that same 5 or 10 minutes engaged in meaningful conversation.  And what is meaningful conversation?

Meaningful conversation includes dialogue aimed at either learning more about another person and their business or sharing helpful information about yours.  Meaningful conversation helps both parties to better understand the who, what, where, when, and why as it relates to your and their respective businesses.

Here are 5 “Feel Good Questions” from Endless Referrals by Bob Burg to help you get started on meaningful conversations:

  • “How did you get started in the Widget Business?”
    Let them share their story with you while you actively listen
  • “What do you enjoy most about your profession?”
    This is a question that elicits a good, positive feeling.
  • “What separates you and your company from the competition?”
    Bob Burg says that this is a “permission to brag” question and one that most people really enjoy answering
  • “What advice would you give to someone just starting in the widget business?”
    Give your new networking friend a chance to feel like a mentor by asking this question
  • “What one thing would you do with your business if you knew you could not fail?”
    We all have dreams, don’t we?  What are their dreams?  This one gives them permission to fantasize about the future.

Focus on asking questions and truly listening to the answers and you’ll find that folks tend to think that you are a great conversationalist … and great conversationalists don’t waste precious time talking about the weather!

Bob Burg is coming to the Greater Seattle area on June 10th to present a half day workshop called Endless Referrals Live Seattle.  To learn more about the event go to www.endlessreferralsliveseattle.com

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