Today’s pace of business can easily squeeze out the time getting to know the new people you meet. Don’t let that happen. Everyone wants to be known, encouraged, and feel like they have an impact. Effective business people know this. They use this knowledge of human nature as they cultivate prospects, interact with existing customers, and work with the other members of their team. They invest time in building a ‘personal connection’ with the people they meet.
As you are involved in your career it’s important to know how to strike the right balance of building a relationship with a business contact versus achieving the desired result. Most of us face pressure-packed days, so we appreciate people who don’t take too much of our time. Given our ‘time crunch’ reality, how does one accomplish that balance and yet create personal dialogue?
To create opportunities for ‘personal connection’, break up the available discussion time into four segments using questions that focus on your business contact, not yourself. Make sure you listen more than you talk. Mix these topics into your business discussion as appropriate.
Find Out Who They Are: Ask a question that gives your new contact an opportunity to reveal a little bit about themselves. For example, “Are you from here, or what attracted you to this area? Usually, an open-ended question like this will bring up other discussion topics. If not, move on to the next segment.
Intro Yourself: Dovetail into the response you received above and if they were unresponsive, just answer the question you posed for yourself.
Business Interests: Try to find out what a new contact enjoys most about their career to get a better idea of what fuels their passion. Primarily from the body language revealed in what you talk about, make a guess in the form of a question. “It sounds like you really have fun …………?” Don’t worry about always guessing right, because most people will gladly correct you and elaborate….helping you get to know them even better.
Personal Interests: I appreciate your time today. “By the way, what do you like to do when you’re not working?”
Remember to always respect the gift of the time a new business contact gives you by being on time for your appointment, prepared, and interested in them!