Unsure how to engage new people in conversation?

If you’re unsure how to engage with new people in conversation remember – ‘people love to talk about themselves’. But what should you ask them? “What do you do?” is so hackneyed it’s hardly worth asking, unless you add “that really makes a difference” or “that you really enjoy” or something similar. Engage their passion, not a recital of the same response they’ve already shared with many others, and they will remember you.

See them as contacts

When speaking with new people see them as contacts. Not suspects, prospects, or some other sales pipeline label, imagine them as someone able to connect you to another who is not in the room, because that’s exactly what they are. Don’t expect them to spill a list of people to you in two minutes, however charming, disarming, smart, or wonderful you are. Good networkers know that with a recommendation goes their reputation. The person you meet through their introduction is already their contact. Consider what you’d need to know about someone you’ve just met before recommending them to one of your friends or relatives and make sure you tick those boxes first, and know it can take several meetings.

But I want business and I want it now! Go for that if you think it will serve you; you will be back later trying to do it properly, and may be remembered as the ‘pushy one from a few months back’.

Want to know more?

Come along to our Networking skills – NLP Practice Group on 29th October with Andy for a taster on how to improve your networking skills or treat yourself to Andy’s one day ‘Networking Not Working?’ workshop on 23rd November where you can get more depth and great ideas to boost your business with networking.





The following two tabs change content below.

Roger Terry

Director of Training and Coaching at Evolution Training Ltd
Roger Terry is one of the world’s leading experts on applying NLP to drive excellence both professionally and personally. Roger leads seminars and consults with companies all over the world, including in the UK, USA, Europe and Middle East. He is the author of several books, including The Hidden Art of Interviewing, NLP and Qualitative Research, NLP for Teachers and The NLP Toolkit.

Latest posts by Roger Terry (see all)