Networking – Four Magic Phrases

11th June 2024


Ah, the sweet joys – talking to strangers, about topics they might not care about…

What’s not to love?!

The problem is: we MUST be good at it.

Otherwise, our current contact sphere will have to sustain us from now until retirement.

Which it won’t.

So here are four magic phrases, to get better at it.

#1 To get INTO conversations

“Mind if I join you?”

When networking, approach someone and say this…

… and they will welcome you.

You’ve now done the hardest part of networking – you’ve started the conversation!

#2 Be interested: be impressed

“That sounds hard. Please can you tell me more about that?”

When someone tells you what they do, reply by saying:

  • “That sounds hard” – this helps you sound interested and impressed. Followed by …
  • “Please tell me more about that” – you’ll now learn more about them. They’ll enjoy the chat more. And it means you can tailor what you say next, so it’s more relevant to them

#3 To deflect the conversation on to them

If they ask you about your job before you’ve had chance to ask them about theirs, say…

“Please can you tell me more about your organisation? I can give you some relevant examples about mine”

… They’ll now tell you more about their business.

You can follow it up with the previous point (“That sounds hard…”)

#4 To end the conversation

Towards the end of your chat, ask:

“Who else would you like to meet at this event?”

They’ll tell you. And then you reply “If I meet them, please can I introduce them to you?”

They’ll want you to do this, and be happy to end your chat.

You now can break away from each other, without resorting to the usual horrific Conversation Finishers like “Don’t let me keep you” or “I really need the toilet”

Action Point

Before you next go networking, choose a handful of phrases – like the four above – that will help you be brilliant in the room.

(It’s much easier to choose them before you go in, instead of hoping the right words magically appear during the stress of a networking conversation. Which they won’t!)

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