No matter what business you are in or what you do, building relationships is a part of everyday life. With social media, email, smartphones, tablets and everything else, our digital communication and relationships have never been better... but what about our in person communication? It seems that it is growing more and more difficult to build relationships with people when meeting them in person. At social functions it can be difficult to not just start a conversation with a stranger but to have an effective, relationship building conversation with them. Below are 5 easy steps for effective small talk that will help you build lasting relationships.
S - Start with a compliment:
When meeting someone new, starting a conversation is as easy as picking something out about a person and complimenting them on it. When you start a conversation with a compliment you make the other person feel confident about themself as well as establish a commonality. This is a crucial element in building relationships.
M - Make a connection:
In order to make a lasting impression on someone you want to first make a connection with them. It may seem difficult to make that initial connection but you actually already have one by simply being at the same event. What brought you both here? Start asking questions about your initial connection and eventually you may find even more that you have in common.
A - Ask open ended questions:
When establishing a connection you want to ask plenty of questions, however, you don't want to ask a question that can be answered with a one word response. If you do not leave room for someone to explain or elaborate further, it can cause an awkward silence and make it difficult to move forward. Instead ask questions that automatically require an open ended explanation. Example: Instead of "Isn't the food here great?" Ask "What do you like most about the food?" By opening the question up you allow for further follow ups which helps the conversation flow more smoothly.
L - Listen actively & look around:
When you are asking questions it is important to listen actively to their response and use it to engage further. You are essentially building a database on conversation pieces. For every question you ask a follow up question could be lying in the response. When there is not a follow up available, it is also important to take in your surroundings and generate open-ended questions based on that. Your surroundings is something the two of you already have in common so it is an easy conversation to engage in.
L - Leave on a good note:
This is key. Every conversation has to end at some point but you need to be careful on how you end it. You want to make sure the other person does not think you are bored with them or that you don't appreciate what they have to say. When ending a conversation you want to leave with a compliment sandwich of sorts. You want to start your exit by again complimenting the person, this time on the quality of your conversation together. Next you will go into a reason as to why you have to leave. You want to make it clear that you are not choosing to leave the conversation but that you need to redirect your attention. By doing this people feel more at ease because it's not them, it's you. Finally, you will revisit a point in your conversation and add that you should follow up on this later. When you add that you would like to re-connect, you leave the other party open to connect with you online so that you may continue your relationship later. This is essential when trying to build lasting relationships in business or in life. Example: "It was wonderful speaking with you! Unfortunately, I need to find ____. I would love to talk to you more about ____ sometime soon. We should connect on (social network) so that we can touch base on this later and keep in touch!"
Thank you for reading! We hope that you found this article helpful and that you will be able to use this in the future. For more helpful tips and information please follow Annan Marketing Services on LinkedIn.