We already know that nobody cares about you. So, why bother talking?
And we also know that 93% of communication is non-verbal. So, why bother talking?
A little less conversation and a little more action please. And by action, I mean questions and genuine interest in the person in front of you.
You can do better. You can start building strong and deep relationships today. And in order to do so, you need to care.
I want to challenge you. And I also want you to challenge me.
If we do this together I have no doubt we will be able to take our networking and relationship building game to the next level.
Or at least I know I will because I will take action. It is up to you to join me on this journey. But first… Let me take the time to share a learning experience.
Please STOP IT!
It was a HYPE networking event (I recommend HYPE for anyone looking for great networking opportunities).
Drinks and appetizers were served. There was even a networking bingo going on.
The stage was set for a great opportunity for people to make meaningful connections. And then it happened.
A friend and I were stuck in a conversation that provided no value for us or the person that was speaking.
My friend is a CFA charterholder. We are classmates at the Bauer MBA program, where we are focusing on finance. And we are also part of the Cougar Investment Fund, where we manage a $10M+ equities fund.
During the conversation, there was never a question asked about us. And as you know, from my previous post about networking and pitching, I prefer listening than talking. So there we were, being sold on financial products and wealth management.
A service was being sold and there was no need for it.
If the other person had started the conversation by asking questions he would’ve quickly figured out that he was not going to sell his services/products to us. Maybe the conversation would’ve been about basketball or something else, and we would’ve connected. And after the connection was made, we may have felt compelled to give referrals to him.
But he never asked. He never listened. He only spoke.
And this is a great thing! The guy was in action. He was practicing, he was at the event talking to people!
I have no doubt that at some point he will figure out that his actions are not leading to sales, which will lead to making adjustments. And he will get better. Trial and error.
In fact, he may be in a better position than you if you haven’t taken action yet.
Listening is better than speaking. But speaking is better than not showing up.
If you are not uncomfortable, at least a bit, you are not growing.
Let’s put each other a bit uncomfortable. That’s what good friends do right?
My challenge for you is the following:
I want you to only speak about what has been asked, and keep the responses as short as possible. This will be hard because ego always gets in the way.
For the following weeks, at any networking event that you attend, I want you to lead with questions and only talk about what the other person wants to know about you. Keep the conversation focused on the other person.
And please challenge me too.
I want you to let me know if when we met I was boring. Or if at any point that we are talking you are bored with whatever I’m talking about. Seriously, I want you to tell me “Alejandro, your story is boring”.
Storytelling is a skill, and we can get better at it. I want you to help be me a better storyteller.
I recently read a great article by Ramit Sethi, where he talks about how you can take your networking game to the next level.
Initially, the problem is feeling comfortable when talking to strangers and opening conversations at networking events. If you are facing this problem then you have come to the right place. At Your MBA Purpose, we have a lot of resources that can help you.
And you can also take advantage of The Charisma Challenge that Ramon Santillan, Interview expert and founder of Persuasive Interview, is leading.
The second problem is being able to create interest. How can we keep the conversation going without worrying about what we are going to say next? How can we lead the conversation with questions?
We have also resources for this problem. And I want you to help me take it to the next level, by creating interesting conversations for you and for me.
Learning and sharing knowledge are my passions, let’s connect if those are yours too.
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