Always Have Something (of impact) to Say
You and I have talked about networking before. We’ve talked about making sure that when you go to a networking event, you go up to the people you don’t know (instead of the ones you feel comfortable talking to) and start a conversation.
We’ve talked about the fact that after you start the conversation, it’s best to listen, rather than to talk. After all, when you’re talking, you’re not learning. You already know what you’re talking about (well, most of the time). When you’re listening you are learning. Be ready to ask questions so that you can listen to the answers.
Today, however, we want to talk about having something to say to everyone you meet. There are several ways to get this information so that you are top-of-mind- to the person you’re talking to.
Why is this so important? Who wants to talk to someone who doesn’t have anything to talk about except perhaps the weather.
- Watch or listen to the news every day so that you can pick up some ideas for a conversation. Watch different sources so that you don’t have only one-sided points of information.
- Talk to someone else in the field of a person you are going to meet so that you have a better understanding of their field. Then you can say something like, “I was talking to someone else in your field yesterday and they told me that ______ is a big issue in your field right now. Do you agree?”
- If you are meeting with a client, check your notes from previous conversations and pick out a topic so that you can say something like, “Joe, I was checking my notes to make sure we are thinking of all the possibilities for your firm and I found this from back in 2017. (Then present the point.) Is that something we should still be talking about?”
- Take a look at the periodicals you subscribe to and any on-line services or podcasts you get so that you can stay up to speed and make sure you are being fed information each day.
- Make sure you use my 3-S form of communication when you make your statement to the person. SHORT so that you only use the words you must. SIMPLE so that you never take a chance of using words that particular person might not understand. SELECTIVE means that you should choose words that are effective, exciting and seem to get the results you are looking for