Thanksgiving has come and gone, so that must mean that we are well on our way to endless parties and social gatherings as we pass through the holiday season.
While these can be difficult moments for a lot of us, some people have learned how to make the most of these events to meet new people and to expand their network of contacts. For many years, I was squarely in the camp of those people who found these parties to be a royal pain in the you know what!
I hated the small talk and the forced conviviality that often accompanied these events. Then it dawned on me, that maybe I should have a different view. What if I could use these events to meet new people and to possibly expand my network? What if I could gain new customers this way?
As it turned out, I soon discovered that just wanting to be able to expand my network, and actually doing it were too much different things. I struggled with the “what do I say to someone I don’t know? And how do I break the ice?”
Google to the rescue. I found a couple of resources that gave me a path to follow through the vagaries of social interaction at parties and I was soon on track.
Fast forward to 2016 and the resources that I used have long been surpassed by others. I found five great resources for you to look over. Spend a few minutes with these and I think that you’ll find that your next holiday party can turn out to be a great place to expand your prospecting horizons!
First up is a Ted talk at http://ideas.ted.com/how-to-talk-to-strangers/. This one gives some ideas on how to talk with complete strangers!
Next is http://www.uncommonhelp.me/articles/conversation-starter-talk-to-strangers-with-ease/ which will expand on the previous article.
Not to be outdone, Lifehacker offers this advice: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/10-simple-ways-talk-with-stranger-comfortably.html
Finally, here is a great list of 100 conversation starters. http://www.conversationstarters.com/100.htm My advice is to memorize a few of these so that they are handy when you need them.
Now get out there, talk to strangers and build your network. Who knows, that January listing may come from someone you met and talked to in early December!