Whether you’ve got a dog (or in our case, a Cat!) in the Super Bowl or not, millions of us have a date with the big game on Sunday. Chances are, many of us will be watching the Panthers and Broncos with a roomful, bar full, or house full of people at some kind of Super Bowl party. These get-togethers are great for meeting new people from outside your regular circle of friends. And as icebreakers go, one of the go-to questions we’ll ask – and be asked – is, “what do you do?” Well, here are a few tips from us at The Dunstan Group for turning that question into a networking opportunity!
Shelve the Shop Talk: It’s easy to slide into your comfortable space and latch on to folks you already know, or those in the same line of work. Resist the urge to go easy and reach out to at least one new person at the party. You never know what it could lead to.
Ask Questions: You wouldn’t want to be grilled like some “60 Minutes” investigation, so ask questions you’d be comfortable answering. How’d you start your business? What got you into this line of work? What’s the most rewarding part of your work? They’re all good starters, especially for folks who aren’t natural extroverts.
Listen Like You Mean It: If you like what you do as much as we do, you may always want to talk about the great things you’re doing for other folks. But if you’re not in listening mode, you may miss the chance to make a new connection, pick up on a new lead, an opportunity to help, etc. Make an active effort to listen.
Ditch the Pitch: Odds are against you writing an order at the party, so relax. Consider this the time and place to perhaps learn about a new business or industry, or a growth opportunity you’ve never considered. It’s about starting a conversation, listening, and learning.
Remember the Golden Rule: Above all, be nice. No, not everyone we come in contact with could be a client, but that’s not all we should think about when we meet someone new. People want to do business with someone whom they trust and treats them well. If you’re capable of doing a favor or can help in some way, here’s the chance to do so.
Follow Up: If you’ve exchanged numbers or emails at the party, take a quick moment over the next couple of days to follow up. If you’ve promised to make an introduction, do a favor or share a connection, make it happen. A sincere follow up is the start of turning those contacts into relationships.