Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.
They say that if you indulge yourself in a meaningful conversation with someone, it’d feel like both of you are entering a black hole. These sorts of conversation are the building blocks of a rapport with other people.
However, meaningful stories don’t always just spontaneously come through during a conversation. Often times, it takes one charismatic person to initiate a topic and steer everyone to be involved.
On the other hand, shallow conversations – the “hi”, “bye” sort – have become mainstream in our daily lives, resulting in wasted time.
There are techniques to initiate and maintain a good conversation in any situation, especially in networking events. Those event are the kind where you want to take the chance to make as much contacts as possible.
Sales professional: What are the techniques of leading up and maintaining a meaningful conversation?
Here are some questions for you:
1) How do you briefly reveal something about yourself?
Tip: You want people to know something unique about you, so that they could remember you. After shaking hands and introducing yourself, continue by telling the person something. It could be as simple as a comment on what brought you to the situation.
2) Are you doing all the talking?
Tip: Try to establish a pattern of discussion that involves both parties talking, instead of a conversation that is completely reliant on one asking the other person questions. Give space for the other person to ask follow up questions as well as express his/her thoughts.
3) What open-ended questions can you ask that is fairly easy to answer?
Tip: Asking the right question means that the other person won’t have to work too hard to engage. Try talking about the common topic that brought you two to the same venue. Structure your question in the way that they person won’t get away with a simple yes-or-no answer.
4) How do you direct the conversation to current events?
Tip: If it feels like your small talk has devolved into a Q&A, feel free to move the conversation away from professional topics and talk about what’s going on in the world. However, it’s advisable to avoid conversations about religion and politics. If the conversation is heading that way, discuss them in an appropriate manner.