Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Do You have Good F.O.R.M.?

Filed under: Guest Author Articles,Networking Article — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Kristi Lee, Guest Author –


One of the most effective ways you can start a conversation is to take the pressure and focus off of yourself and get to know the other person is using the F.O.R.M. technique. It stands for Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Motivation/Money. Your goal is to find out about the other person using these ideas as starting points. This is not an “interrogation” where you are peppering questions at a stranger – as you show genuine interest by listening to the responses and getting to know people, the conversation should flow easily from one topic to the next.

NOTE: When you initially meet someone, do not make the mistake of talking all about yourself or give a full-blown presentation to someone about your company, product or service. When you meet someone, be there to genuinely meet them and exchange contact information, then set up a separate time to get together to learn about each others businesses. This is the start of rapport and relationship building, which is one of the key foundations in growing your business.

shakinghandsImagine meeting one of your friends for coffee – the minute you sit down you both are excited to find out what each other has been up to since the last time you met; this is the kind of energy you want to have. Here are some opening questions in each of the four categories to help you get started:


Did you grow up here in (insert your state)?
Are you married?
Do you have any kids?
Do you have any pets? What kind?
Where did you grow up?
Did you like growing up in the city/country?
Do your parents still live there?
Do you keep in touch with any childhood/college friends?


What kind of work do you do?
What do you like about your job?
What’s the most challenging thing about your job?
Do you like your boss/coworkers?
Is this your dream job and if not, what is?
Why did you choose this profession or how did you fall into this career?
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? What made it the worst?


What do you like to do for fun?
What would you do if you had the whole day to yourself?
How do you like to unwind after a long day?
What’s your favorite type of food?
Do you like to play any sports?
How did you get into that sport?
What kind of music do you like?
Do you like to travel?


What are you passionate about?
How did you get into that?
If you didn’t have to work, what would you do with all your time?
When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?
Are you open to having residual income to help pay for (your home, car, vacation?)

Meeting with a new prospect can be exciting because of his or her life experiences, business background, children, and trips to other countries he or she has taken. Remember a road trip you may have taken as a child? Wasn’t it fun because there were other children in the car playing games and laughing with you to pass the time? One of the richest rewards in our industry is the people we meet and the lifelong friends we make. In the very near future you will look back and be surprised at how making the choice of owning your own business has added so many positive aspects to your journey. Have FUN!

Personal Example: – My Mom having emergency surgery on her visit to AZ – she ended up needing two surgeries in one day. When she was getting prepped for the second surgery, she quietly said, “the surgical nurse isn’t very nice” which translates in my Mom’s communication style to “Nurse Ratchett is going to be looking over me in the operating room!”

So, I used the F.O.R.M. technique on the nurse, and after 10 minutes, I found out she had been a surgical nurse for 27 years, had wanted to be a veterinarian growing up and expressed that love through breeding and showing dogs. Her whole demeanor changed and softened, and by the time they wheeled my Mom away, she said she would make sure to “take good care of my Mom” So, imagine my Mom was able to relax as well as myself about a very stressful situation.

Business Example – “Free Lunch Friday” challenge – one of my coaches, Kandi Lee, created a business strategy over the years by sending a group of her clients out to separate restaurants and each person had to buy a stranger lunch, not tell them the reason why and come back to the person’s name, phone number and e-mail.

kristileeMy first thought was to ask a woman so I wouldn’t have to worry about how it would be perceived. I walked into the restaurant, and NO ONE was in line! As I stood by the door, the employees eyed me warily wondering what I was up to, I was able to find a woman and pose the question, “May I treat you to lunch today?” She looked at me suspiciously and declined.

I decided to stop controlling the situation and would ask the very next person…which of course ended up being a man. Thankfully he agreed. I used the F.O.R.M. technique and found out he owned a well-known company, and was running for State Treasurer!

Imagine how using this very simple technique will honor the person you are talking to, because you are taking the time to find out who they are. Imagine if you decided to get out of your comfort zone and treat a stranger to lunch every week, how that would change your business and build your database?


Copyright © 2010 – Kristi Lee. Kristi Lee has 20 years of marketing and retail experience in corporate America. She is a professional speaker and author and takes great joy in teaching business owners how to grow their sales through “relationship marketing”. Contact Kristi: P.O. Box 27077, Scottsdale, AZ 85255 Phone: 623-910-4630 . E-mail: Website:

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NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.


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