Attending networking events is a great way for entrepreneurs to bring awareness to their businesses, to establish valuable connections and to grow their business and personal networks. But starting a meaningful networking conversation isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Many entrepreneurs find it difficult to approach someone and engage them in a conversation, especially when we talk about approaching investors or other successful entrepreneurs. It always comes handy to have a list of ice-breaking opening approaches that you can use at networking events.
Here are five brilliant ways that you can use to start a networking conversation. But remember, make sure that you sound natural – people value the authenticity of conversations, so don’t sound like a robot. Just be yourself!
Ask someone you know to introduce you – this is the best way to start a conversation with someone you would like to meet. If you don’t know anybody, you always can ask the organizers of the event – they will be happy to help!
Show interest – when you approach someone, show genuine interest in them. People like to talk about themselves and their businesses. Show genuine interest, listen carefully and ask adequate questions. It is a great way to break the ice and get people talking.
Talk about the event – if you find it difficult to think of a topic to talk about, simply talk about the event. You both are attending, so this is something you are sure you have in common. “Where did you hear about the event?”, “What do you think about the event?” and “What brought you here today?” are questions you can use to start the conversation.
The Hot Topic – there is always something interesting happening in the world of entrepreneurship, innovation and startups. People are genuinely interested in the hottest trends, which are a great way to begin a conversation. “Have you heard about …?” or “The news about … are crazy, don’t you think?” are great ways to engage into an interesting conversation, yet make sure that the topic is relevant. It is a great way to show that you follow the trends and are interested in what’s new and interesting.
Send the right vibe – you are not the only one at the event who struggles to start a conversation. The room is full of people, who wonder what the best way to approach someone is. It is important to send the right vibe and to look approachable to the others. Make sure that your body language says Hey, let’s chat! Smile and look friendly and people will be drawn to you.
We would love to know how you do start a networking conversation, so share your favorite approaches with us in the comment section!