Life is all about connections. Whether you’re trying to network, make a sale, or get a new client, you need to connect with people.
Being able to know what people want and what they expect is a learned skill. Sales people spend years getting better at reading their clients and closing deals. But if you’re just starting out in the business world, the idea of quickly getting to know someone could be intimidating.
Not everyone can instantly build a rapport with a stranger. When you first meet someone, a series of thoughts will tend to run through your mind. You’ll ask yourself whether this person is like you. You want to know if you can trust this person. That’s your instinctive response. But it doesn’t help you get to know the person.
Making better connections can help you network and help you land new clients. So, this isn’t something that you should take lightly.
So if you want to improve your people-meeting skills, here’s a few tips to help you out. Learn how to make better connections with people in just minutes.
You Want to Put the Other Person at Ease
The first task of meeting a stranger is putting them at ease. You want to use the old technique of mirroring. This is a simple idea that’s designed to make the person feel comfortable.
Remember, your first instinct when you meet someone is to ask yourself if they’re like you. So, that’s what you want to attempt to achieve. You’ll do this by mirroring their verbal pace, posture, and gestures. If they speak quickly and loudly, you’ll speak quickly loudly. If the other person leans in and speaks quietly, then follow their behavior.
Obviously, you don’t want to exactly copy their behavior. This will come across as a little strange. You’ll probably end up scaring the other person. Make small adjustments to your demeanor to reflect their behavior. Meet them halfway.
Always Turn the Conversation Back to the Other Person
You want to get to know the other person as quickly as possible. This is especially true when you’re networking since you don’t have a lot of time. To do this, you should ask a lot of questions.
Whenever possible, try to turn the conversation back to the other person. The more you can keep the other person talking, the more time you have to process what they’re saying and come up with additional questions. You’ll learn more about the person as they talk and answer your questions. You also want to provide more information about yourself, so that they’ll be sure to remember you.
By asking a lot of questions and keeping the other person talking, you’re also more likely to find things that you’ve got in common. You’ll easily find common ground, from which you can steer the conversation.
The idea is to keep them talking so that they’ll feel like you’re showing an active interest. But, at the same time, you actually need to show an active interest and be genuine.
Share Details About Yourself
As mentioned, you want the other person to remember you. This means that you’ll need to share details about yourself. While the majority of your conversation should be geared toward the other person, you’ll need to work information about yourself into the conversation.
To do this, you should continue to look for common ground. This forces you to actively listen. As they talk, make mental notes of anything that they mention that you have in common. You can then use this to build a deeper connection.
You Need to Remain Genuine at All Times
Some people can tell a fake right away. If you attempt to be ingenious or dishonest, they’ll see right through you. So, remain genuine at all times. If you’re actively listening, this part should be easy. You need to pay attention to the conversation if you’re going to make a deep connection.
When you struggle to remain genuine, then you’re probably trying too hard. The goal is to remember one important point – you’re not trying to make this other person like you. You’re simply having a conversation.
If you find yourself getting bored with the conversation or not paying attention to everything that the other person is saying, then it’s probably time to wrap up the conversation.
Relax and Don’t Worry About What the Other Person Thinks
The final tip for making a deeper connection is to relax and stop worrying about what the other person thinks. You can’t waste your time and energy worrying about their thoughts because you have no control over their thinking. What you can do is remain calm. Don’t be afraid to lead the conversation.
If you’re not comfortable with some of these steps, then you should practice. Signing up for networking events is a great way to get this practice. You can search for upcoming networking opportunities in your area. When you attend the event, make a commitment to introduce yourself to at least two people during the event and test out some of these tips.
Networking and meeting people is a part of getting ahead in most business settings. Regardless of the industry, your ability to brush shoulders with people that matter could impact your career.
The idea that you need to work hard and keep your head down is bad advice. You’ll rarely get ahead without actively trying—which means making connections with other people.
Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, these are simple tips that you can start using today. Make better connections in just minutes. You need to mirror their behavior to put the other person at ease. You’ll also want to turn the conversation around and ask a lot of questions. Finally, don’t forget to be genuine.
Good luck out there. Put these tips to use today. Start by practicing your mirroring techniques, as that will require the most work.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.