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It’s more important to be interestED than interestING
People need to know that you care before they care what you know. So Ditch the Pitch and start listening…
By Brenda Thomson
People need to know that you care before they care what you know. So Ditch the Pitch and start listening… it really is more important to be interestED than interestING.
Here’s two reasons why:
- people love to talk about themselves – so you are going to encourage them to do that – by asking questions.
- the person asking the questions controls the conversation so you can make sure you ask the questions that will give you the information you want and need.
Here are some of the questions I ask at networking events. These questions are focused around getting the information I need to be able to follow up effectively after the event.
- Are you a regular here or is this a first time visit? How do you find it, or what do you think so far?
- So what is it that you do? How long have you been doing that?.
- What do you like most about what you do?
- Who is your target market?
- What are you working on in your business right now – do you have any special projects or initiatives on the go?
- Who or “what” would you really love to meet today?
- What do you do when you are not working?
No particular order and I don’t have to ask all of them – I am looking for the things that they get excited about because then they will keep talking. The key here is to be GENUINELY interested in the answers and to notice the things that you may be able to help them with, who to connect them to and whether they may be able to help you or you want to follow up for a WIN-WIN opportunity!
Notice something – you don’t have to talk about yourself at all!
It’s ALL about them – I don’t care if when we part company they know absolutely nothing about me or what I do – they will remember me because they felt great that I was interested in them!
Articles in the Synergy48 Group Networking Resource Pack
How to create a networking plan
Where should I network?
Who do you want to meet at a networking event?
What are strategic partnerships and why should I care?
Seven steps to effective networking follow up
How to evaluate the effectiveness of your networking efforts
CEO and Founder, Synergy48 Group
Brenda has an honours degree in organizational psychology and a Graduate Certificate in training and development and she is an experienced trainer, facilitator and counsellor. She is a firm believer in mutual collaboration combined with a practical, hands on tools, strategies and systems as the most effective way to achieve real results in business.
Brenda has over 20 years of experience training in communication, team work, time management, productivity, organisation and strategic planning in large organisations. She is also the developer of the Business Benchmarking Toolkit used by Synergy48 Group members and clients to identify areas for improvement in their business processes.
Brenda is a sought after mentor, speaker and trainer in the areas of strategic partnerships and networking with a difference. She is passionate about actively giving back to the community. In addition to donating her speaking fees and a proportion of every Synergy48 Group membership to provide microfinance to help women in Malawi to start their own businesses, Brenda has climbed the Himalayas to raise money for Kids Help Line and helped lay a pipeline to supply water to a remote village in Tanzania.