“Be seductive” the man said. “Use your voice, your eyes, your body to seduce the person you’re talking to. Make them WANT to get to know you better.”
“Most importantly”, he added, “Remember, it’s not about YOU!”
To be interesting you need to be more interested in the person you’re talking to than in yourself.
“The man” was Steve Trister and he was entertaining a bunch of business owners and at the same time giving them invaluable tips on how to get the best out of the networking experience. His performance was brilliant; full of really funny observations about all the ways to alienate people and how to be really engaging and not just spout a tired old elevator pitch.
He put particular emphasis on being aware of the emotions we create in others and how to make real connections.
“What do you do?”
What does it say when the first question someone asks you is, “What do you do?”
No attempt at small talk, not even the slightest interest in you as a person, they’re only interested in the business you run and if you are a prospective customer.
If “What do you do?” was banned from the vocabulary, most serial networkers would be struck dumb.
Well pardon me folks, but I am more than my business.
I’m looking for banter, rapport, a bit of fun, an exchange of ideas.
If I just wanted to know what business people are in I can get that from the attendance list. The reason for going to networking meetings must surely to meet the PEOPLE not the businesses, to discover if they’re funny, quirky, boring or obnoxious.
Be honest now, how many times have you come away from a networking meeting having been totally fascinated and charmed by someone, irrespective of whether their business is of any interest to you?
Which is a shame because I’m sure in ‘real life’ most networkers are charming and fascinating and they know equally charming and fascinating people but we’re all missing out on those extended connections because we never get further than “What do you do?”. No one has a real conversation because they’re too busy looking over each other shoulders to see who they’re missing.
Whoever invented the term “Working the room” should be sent to networking purgatory.
If you’d like to meet people who don’t greet you with a sales pitch, and are interested in finding out about you, not just your business, try Drive the Network events! It’s networking for the 21st Century.