Networking: How to establish rapport

What do you say after you say hello… is the name of a book detailing the challenges of social interaction and how our lives follow pre-determined scripts – but it could equally apply to the challenges of building effective relationships through networking.

Picture yourself at a networking event. You’ve just met someone for the first time and you’ve started to strike up a half decent conversation with them.  (Refer sales tip ––elevatorgoing-up/ )

But what happens next? Here are a few ideas:

  • Introduce yourself briefly, but don’t go into too much detail about what you do.
  • Ask them questions about themselves and their business.
  • Pick up on things that they say and explore further:”Tell me a bit more about… “”How do you find… “
  • When you’re ready to move on and talk to someone else, make a statement like “I’ve enjoyed talking to you, it would be good to meet for a further chat about our businesses.”
  • This will be where you’ve got on well with them and you think there’s some value in a subsequent meeting.
  • Swap business cards and tell them you’ll drop them an email suggesting some dates to meet.
  • Email them with 24 hours, connect with them on LinkedIn and follow them on Twitter.

Everyone you know was once a stranger. Relationships have to start somewhere. Sales is all about relationships, be proactive in starting them and even more proactive in building them.

Be open and honest, friendly and sociable. Do what you say you will do and make people want to work with you.

Contact Brendan now while it's on your mind
Brendan Walsh