A Minute-By-Minute Breakdown Of How I Navigate Networking Conversations

Sometimes I find myself in a conversation that just seems to go on and on … and on … and on. Then 45 minutes later, I realize I’ve been zoning out the whole time and the event I’m attending is nearly over.

This results in an evening spent accomplishing, well, nothing. But when I take the time to connect with new people, I want to ensure I meet those who I can leverage the most – and those who can leverage me the most – during the few hours we have.

That’s why I’ve learned to keep a mental note of the time I spend on each conversation.

Here’s how I break it up:

 10-60 Seconds:

Start with a normal, more formal introduction. This is typically where we exchange names and banter about something related to the event.

 Mental Note: By the end of this first minute, we just need to have the conversation started. Oftentimes this is actually the hardest part, so hard that I wrote a separate post on how I approach strangers without being a creep here.

 

 1-2 Minutes:

Now we exchange a pitch about what we do for living or what we’re working on. Some people argue that directly asking someone what they do isn’t the best approach, but I personally think it’s important to ask for this fundamental knowledge to figure out where a conversation might lead.

Questions to help navigate:

2-5 Minutes:

Based on what path we find ourselves on, we’re doing one of two things:

1. Diving deeper into the conversation and learning more about they do.

2. Finding a way to pleasantly exit the conversation. We’ll be posting on how to do handle this gracefully later this week.

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Posted in Confidence, Networking.