Turn Small Talk into Big DealsA key part of "Turn Small Talk into Big Deals" is helping you learn your own personal style, so you can find ways to fit that style into a number of situations. Are you competitive? Outgoing? Amiable? Analytical? Whatever your natural style, you're assisted in learning how to network with others in a variety of situations. When you meet with people, find ways to agree on points, avoid criticism, and budget your time to maximize your efforts.
Find ways to get involved and to be seen. Network with *everybody* - you never know who will be the perfect link to a lead!
Even when you meet up with competitors, be friendly. You never know when circumstances will change. If nothing else, learn their strengths and weaknesses.
If you're attending an event, ask for the guest list first, so you know how to prioritize it. Carry the list with you, and focus on remembering names. When you come up to a group you want to join into, lurk by it first, listen in, see if it's friendly. You want to avoid complaint-fests. Nod, smile, make eye contact, and add in a friendly - not disagreeing comment.
If someone is interested in your services, always put serious discussions off until later. Leave that first talk with a great impression.
You'll run into noxious networkers occasionally - be alert, deal with them, don't debate, be friendly, say it's been interesting, and move on.
Follow up with everyone you meet, to stay in the loop. Choose your time wisely - more is not better. Some events are simply not helpful. Avoid negative / complaining talk, even about competitors. You want to be remembered for your positive qualities.
Get a card holder for your purse, always keep cards on you. Practice your short speeches. The book then has a TON of situations with descriptions of conversations in them. Some of them are helpful - but some are absolutely silly. If you're in an elevator, don't talk about elevator crashes! If you're on a plane, don't talk about plane crashes! Hopefully most people know these sorts of things.
Still, in general the book has quite a lot of helpful information for those starting out in networking. So it's well worth reading and gleaning the tips from it.
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