Networking, Connecting, Building Rapport
By Karen Susman
Being a networking nut, I’m always looking for new ways to make
Remarkable Associations! Recently, I read a book called How To Connect
in Business in 90 Seconds or Less by Nicholas Boothman. Some of
Boothman’s ideas that may benefit you are:
1. Realize your job in making connections is to reduce the fight or
flight response in the other person. When you meet someone new, be
open, positive, approachable, non-confrontational and aware of the
other person’s reaction to you.
2. Use metaphors to describe what you do. For instance, if you sell
insurance, you might say using insurance is like planting a garden.
Then explain what you mean. Using a metaphor gives your networking
partner a picture of what you do.
3. Offer a reason why you want something. For instance, if you’d like
an appointment with someone, instead of saying, “I’d like to meet with
Ms. Jones on Thursday,” say, “I’d like to meet with Ms. Jones on
Thursday because my services might be able to save her a lot of
money.” Studies showed this worked when people butted in line. If they
used “because,” there was increased compliance.
4. Use positive language instead of planting negative thoughts. If
someone asks you to do something, don’t say “No problem.” Say, “It
would be a pleasure.” If this sounds silly, please don’t think about
5. We’ve all heard of the elevator speech or the seven-second
commercial that briefly tells what you do. Here’s a step to take
before you form your short promo. Come up with your “Big Idea.” Your
“Big Idea” is what drives you. For instance, perhaps your Big Idea is
that you want to make a difference in the health of those in your
community. Or, perhaps you want to make people’s lives easier. You
don’t announce your Big Idea to people, but it propels you. Ask
yourself, “Am I doing/living my big idea?” Thinking and acting your
Big Idea will give you confidence, too.
6. Respond. When people are speaking to you, listening isn’t enough.
Encourage them with questions, statements or even “Hmmmm.” These show
you are engaged in what they are saying. You can encourage
non-verbally, too. Lean in, make eye contact, nod appropriately and
mirror your facial expression to the speaker’s.
Try some of these ideas. Importantly, keep in mind that your goal is
to build rapport with others. Then you can build a relationship. Then
you can get what you want.
Karen Susman, Speaker/Author/Coach, works with organizations and individuals that want to maximize their performance and quality of life. Check out her free tips and articles at www.karensusman.com. Karen can be reached at 1-888-678-8818 or [email protected].