You don’t have to be at a business event to network. People are everywhere. You meet them at your kids sporting events, at church, at the gym, at the store, in line at the bank or the waiting at the deli.
You never know who you might meet and where. When you get used to saying a friendly ‘hello’ you just don’t know where it might lead. People do business with people they like so being friendly and conversational can be the first step, especially when there are no expectations. Getting used to starting conversations with complete strangers as you wait inline or sit in the bleachers at a game opens you up to a realm of possibilities.
As you chat them up you can often learn something about what is going on in their life, you might even be able to make a connection for them to a realtor, a plumber, or a local retailer.
You will likely find that most people are more than happy to talk but are reluctant to be the one to break-the-ice and start the conversation. Take the initiative and you will find you make a lot more friends, connections, and possible leads for your business.
When the conversation inevitably comes to explaining what you do, make sure you’re crystal clear and can tell a story. People like to hear stories, if they can be entertained or can relate to story they are more apt to make a connection with you.
When two people are in close proximity, there is a natural desire to interact. At the same time people do not like to make the first move because they think the other person wants to be left in peace. As a conversation starter you’ll find that most people are happy to have someone to help pass the time of day.
YOUR CHALLENGE: The next time you find yourself standing in line, say a friendly hello and ease into a conversation with someone around you.