Last week, I spoke at “Turn Your Livestream into Your Next Profit Stream” hosted by FanDate App in Silicon Valley. It was a wonderful event! I spoke about how your subconscious mind affects your communication, and how to influence it.
I got to meet amazing people who are either in the process of launching a business or have a business and want to leverage live streaming to increase sales. One of the first things I did was get to know everyone. I introduced myself, asked them a few questions, and just like that we connected!
It was networking basics. Why? Because relationships are key! In business, a relationship is usually the deciding factor when it comes to getting the job, getting a client, or landing that contract. Which is why networking is so important.
Yet, most people dread networking!
That does NOT have to be you.
I can write so much on how to prepare for your networking event — mindset is key after all — or how to walk into the room, how to carry yourself, etc…. I’ll save those for another day.
Today is about how to make networking FUN!
The part that most people dread about networking is the conversation. Who will I talk to? What will I say? Will there be awkward silence?
Sure, you could talk about the weather or ask people how their day went. Or even what they do. Expect to hear something like “Oh, the weather, yeah, it’s nice. Yeah, my day went well. Oh, I do finance.”
Blah, bland, and boring.
Is it any surprise that our minds start thinking “I don’t want to be here”?
When I first started attending networking events, those were the topics I approached. Once I changed up my answers, I had a lot more fun and connected with people better. What did I switch my questions to?
When I was at real estate investor association meetings, I asked “What was the investment project from hell?”. Every real estate investor has at least one project that totally kicked their butt — where Murphy’s law showed up in full force, and looking back at it, all you can do is laugh. The tone of the conversation completely changes. Instead of getting a default, boring answer, you’ll get a passionate story.
I remember one of the stories about the “investment property that got away”. I had taken an Uber to a real estate investor association meeting. The driver immediately recognized the destination and we realized were both investors. He talked about a property he had been so close to purchasing — the hoops he had to jump through, etc… And at the last minute, the homeowner decided to go behind his back with the mortgage company and he was left out of the deal. Crazy part? I knew exactly who he was talking about! I had visited the same house a few months before, thinking of perhaps getting the house under contract. This was back in November 2015, and I still remember our conversation!
While working in pricing and proposals, I would ask for the most interesting proposal, or what was the craziest deadline story. When it comes to preparing multi-million dollar proposals (and some even in the billions), the stories get quite interesting. Everything from Dunkin Donuts, cartwheels in the hallway, burning your tongue on steaming hot pho, or spending 5 minutes trying to confirm that you’ve spelled “proprietary” correctly. Which, by the way, is hard to do when you’re going on only 2 hours of sleep.
And that’s the key. The simple way of making networking events more fun is to ask a question that requires a story as an answer.
Stories are engaging, fun, and memorable. You’ll start a fun conversation. Other people can easily join in, laugh, share their input. And now, instead of talking about the weather, you are actually building a relationship — and enjoying it!
The best part, you will be remembered! Remember, most people dread networking events. When you make them more fun for you, you’re making them more fun for others as well! They will remember and appreciate you for it. What better way to build the relationship that could help you land that job, get that client, or land the contract?
What questions will you start asking?
Originally published at medium.com