People are social beings. Whenever they get together at networking events, they converse. One of your 1st priorities is to learn how to work a room. Making small talk – or schmoozing – is nothing more than making casual, easygoing conversation with strangers. It’s not about glad-handing, idle chit-chat or insincere sucking up.
When done correctly schmoozing always avoids overt pitching of your business and focuses mostly on others businesses. Studies show that when you ask people questions about themselves, they come away from the conversation with a more favorable impression of you.
Schmooze with intent. When you schmooze with booze, you lose. Don’t drink and schmooze. Keep a clear head. Good schmoozing opens the possibility of future contact. No need to feel uncomfortable – everyone is doing it. Never monopolize a conversation. Ask a lot of questions about their business, then shut up and really listen to the answers. Devote your undivided attention to any networking conversation.
Focus on something that’s important to them, as an entrée into establishing a bond that will lead to future interactions and possible opportunities to help one another in a professional capacity. One of the goals of networking is getting out of your house and getting to know people over time. Networking and building long-term relationships are a HUGE part of business success.
To go beyond the schmooze, ya gotta mix and mingle. Instead of canvassing the room and exchanging as many business cards as possible, business professionals should focus on “deep connections.” Meet other people. Don’t just focus on one. Networking can take many forms and help achieve a variety of goals from sharing business advice, finding new opportunities, and helping you build your business profile.
Schmooze with competitors. Forget competition. It’s time for co-opetition. Co-opetition is “the gentle art of cooperating with companies that might traditionally be considered your competition.” Co-opetition is a giant step beyond competition.
Bonus Article: Read, “What’s Your SCHMOOZE QUOTIENT?” by Susan RoAne.
Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Visit ” Networking HQ!”
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