Knowing how to connect with people and keep them engaged is one of the deciding factors when it comes to socialization. Meaning, those who find it extremely easy to interact with others will usually be more successful in the long-run. The reason why is that almost every industry relies on some level of human contact. Just consider, for example, how difficult it is to come up with a profession where solid networking skills are not important. Well, that is because there are very few professions that match that description.
Solid Elevator Pitch
Before even starting to connect with a person, everyone should achieve a basic level of preparation by having an elevator pitch. This is a two-minute introduction that brings up some of the most important facts that are relevant to the discussion. For instance, people who are talking with prospective employers will have a job-based elevator pitch. This is where pertinent work experience and education may come in. Those who are simply trying to meet someone, however, will have a casual speech with more personal details.
Eye Contact and Engagement
In the words of an experienced entrepreneur who spent many years in the automotive industry, Chris Pintek, non-verbal communication is just as important as spoken words. This includes things like eye contact, level of engagement, smiling, and more. Although all of them have nothing to do with actually talking, they can help prove that one truly cares about the discussion. For example, if a job applicant is failing to maintain eye contact and keeps getting distracted during a conversation, the employer is unlikely to offer him a job. Someone else who may be very active in the conversation and asks a plethora of great questions, however, will have better odds.
Methods of Contact
Upon the completion of a successful networking event, it is important to keep the relationship going. This means discussing future methods of contact that will be feasible. For example, business associates that are getting along well should exchange work phone numbers or e-mail addresses. That way, the interactions can be prolonged and not suffer due to a lack of face-to-face engagement. Also, offering multiple methods of contact shows consideration as it paints a picture of someone who genuinely cares.
Another great way to show consideration is to follow-up with people. According to Chris Pintek, doing so makes the other party feel appreciated. This is also a stage where one’s creativity can come into play. For example, following up with people can easily include personalized content that references the original interaction. Meaning, going back to sports, hobbies, or goals that might have been mentioned can be a great way to keep someone talking for a long time.
Even with the aforementioned advice, there is still a hefty number of people who may be unable to network well. These tend to be introverts who do not enjoy communicating at all. Fortunately, modern digital developments have made it easy for them to still connect with others. Think about LinkedIn and the way that it has grown to be the world’s largest professional social media platform.
Not only does it allow people to get to know one another, it further serves as a hiring software that companies can use to conduct interviews. So, individuals who have a lot of room to grow when it comes to face-to-face interactions will have a great alternative with online tools. After a while, a lot of them may even get comfortable enough and slowly improve their personal communication skills.
Know Your Audience
Ultimately, it is crucial to be fully aware of the audience that one is interacting with. This means having a full grasp of what the party does and how their role is important. That way, one can ask applicable questions and stay away from the ones that may be deemed inappropriate. Not to mention how much easier it is to get to know someone when they are on the same page!