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Start with Hello: How to Convert Today's Stranger into Tomorrow's Client by Linda Coles

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Chapter 7

Networking freestyle — make the first move

It’s all about people. It’s about networking and being nice to people and not burning any bridges.

Mike Davidson

I think most of us realise that by and large humans are naturally friendly towards each other. So keep this first and foremost in your mind when it comes to meeting someone new. It will make your transition into a professional networker much easier.

We’ll look at networking events in the next chapter, but as networking freestyle is possibly the easiest way of starting a conversation with a stranger — because we’re more likely to have something obvious in common away from the business environment, such as wearing the same hat or sports shirt, or being in the same car club — we’ll cover this first.

Networking freestyle is the term I’ve given to networking off the cuff with those you find around you at a given moment; that is, not at a formal networking event, which you’re no doubt accustomed to.

People like people who are similar to them and so are more likely to respond to their efforts because of the commonality they have. This is where freestyle networking comes in.

Decide who you want to talk to

Having the commitment to build your connection base and say hello to more strangers means you’ll have to decide who to talk to, including those you happen to bump into because they are next in line in the coffee queue. What about those people with whom, on the surface, you have nothing in common — people you’ll meet in ...

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