Posted on October 29, 2006
Schmooze and Schmooze Well
by Nick Urbani
Susan RoAne took a new angle at networking when she said, “It’s not what you know or who you know, but who knows you.”
Schmoozing can only bring upon positive things: new clients, job offers, entrepreneurial ideas, and the opportunity you have never thought of. It is a critical factor in becoming successful, in whatever terms that may be.
Continually use these tactics and your connections will grow without limits:
1. Obey JFK
JFK infamously said, “Ask not what you country can do for you, butâ€¦.” we all know how it goes. In schmoozing, focus on discovering what you can do for someone else.” This is 80% of the battle.
2. Follow Up
Once you’ve found what you can do for that person, DO IT. It may be forwarding a great article for them, connecting them with someone you know, or letting them borrow one of your books.
Always follow up with an email within 24hours–always include a “P.S.” in the email relating something personal about them that you talked about when you met. If you don’t have anything to “p.s.” about then you didn’t ask good questions and you didn’t listen enough.
3. Ask Intelligent Questions, then Shut Up and Listen
Ask questions related to their interests, field of study, career, etc. Specifically ask thoughtful open-ended questions that cannot be answered with a yes or no.
After someone stops speaking use the 3 Second Rule and pause for 3 seconds. It will eliminate the chance of interrupting the person–one of the worst things you can do in establishing a relationship. You will often find that at 2 seconds they were just gathering their thoughts and they will keep talking. It also shows that you are hanging on their every word, raising their self esteem.
4. Read Voraciously
Be Worldly. Know a little bit about everything. The more information you can access in conversations, the greater your opportunities to emotionally and intellectually connect with another person. This is the easiest way to establish trust and credibility with someone you do not know.
5. Go Do It
Go Schmooze. You can’t schmooze from the computer you are sitting in front of. Force yourself to go to presentations, seminars, conventions, events, tradeshows–anything. There are several online calendars of events in your city (you know how to use google, don’t you?). Its unlikely you’re going to land a huge client or get a job offer from someone you met online so go make some eye contact.
6. I’m blogging way past my bedtime so here are a few other quick ideas:
Talk about your passions (only talk about business at a business conference and no one will remember you)
Have a business card (if you want old, rich, famous, and powerful people to contact you make it easy to be contacted–also, you don’t need to work for a business to have a business card)
Give favors (people will like you more)
Ask for favors (once you’ve completed a couple cycles of give and take with someone you are now friends)
Bottom Line- Start now and practice on everyone. When you start off the power of schmoozing will not be apparent, but each and every additional contact you add exponentially increases the amount of people that know you.