...Networking with Strangers or VIPs
What to say when networking with strangers or VIPs. So here's the situation. You attend an out-of-town conference by yourself and you don't feel comfortable approaching strangers, but you also don't want to stand in the corner all by yourself. What should you do and say? Here's what you may be thinking, but don't say to anyone. "I'm really bad at this. "Everyone will be looking at me in the corner by myself. "I really hate this." Here's a solution. Preparation I key here. Start by setting a realistic and comfortable goal for yourself. To make five good connections or collect five business cards from new people that you meet. Then focus your attention on achieving that goal rather than on what strangers may be thinking about you because they're not, I can guarantee you that. One approach is to pretend you're a scientist on a research expedition. What can you learn from the people you meet and what evidence will you bring back to your team? What questions can you prepare for your researc...
h? Then start talking to strangers. And here's what you could say. With curiosity, "What's been the most valuable part "of this conference for you?" Or, "Is this your first time at this event too?" Or with generosity, the very basic, "Hi, my name is blank. "What do you do?" And this is generous because you take the initiative. Remember, others may be just as uncomfortable as you are. Or with humility, "When I sign up for events like this, "I really look forward to meeting people "who'll teach me something that I don't know." The overarching idea here is that you are not alone in your discomfort. So one strategy is to put on your research hat and use curiosity to guide the conversation. What can you learn from each person? Focus entirely on them and take your attention off yourself. Ask questions. People like to talk about themselves, so you'll get points for being a great listener. Learn about them as a person too. Don't just focus on business. You'd be surprised by the things you may have in common. Plus, the more you do this, the better you'll get, Practice will build your confidence. Make sense?
It’s always important to know the right thing to say in various situations, but it’s particularly important at work. Getting tongue-tied or putting your foot in your mouth when speaking to a work colleague or superior could get you into trouble and impact your ability to thrive in your career.
So wouldn’t it be great if you had a virtual archive of precise language you can use in any professional situation? For example, what might you say when someone at work loses a loved one, when office politics get ugly or when a colleague isn’t pulling their weight?
Taught by Ilise Benun, an author and teacher known as the Marketing Mentor, this course provides you with concrete advice and guidance about how to handle a wide variety of situations and conversations. Using bite-sized videos that portray real-world situations, it will give you the tools you need to communicate clearly, appropriately and assertively at work.
In this class, you’ll learn how to:
- Communicate with everyone in your professional arena, from bosses to direct reports, vendors to clients.
- Avoid miscommunication when possible and recover from it when you can’t.
- Go from people-pleaser to self-respecting professional.
- Know the right thing to say at the right moment.
- Take time to assess the situation before making your response.
- Know when to speak and when to stay quiet.
- Decide whether a written or a verbal response is more appropriate.