ONE OF NETWORKING’S SCARIEST MOMENTS
The idea of walking into a room and not seeing anyone you know can strike panic in the heart of pretty much everyone–except you Bill Clinton (the world’s ultimate networker).
For us mere mortals, we need some help, particularly when we have to break into a group.
THE 28-SECOND HOVER-Excerpt from Work The Pond! (Penguin Prentice Hall)
The hover is a more difficult maneuver, but it’s an excellent way to meet new people. Walk up to a group of strangers and join them. Pick people whose body language indicates they are having a casual conversation—not a group apparently locked in a serious business discussion. Make sure you get in their line of sight. You have to get their attention to be able to enter their space.
Good networkers will stop their conversation and look at you. That is your opening to leap right in and say, “Hi, I’m Pete Moss of Swampwater Beverages.” Shake their hands and give them your card. The card is important in a situation like this, because if they were talking baseball scores, the focus may turn to business—their business and yours. Or you might have to join their conversation about how the Mariners and Red Sox did the night before.
WHY THE 28 SECOND HOVER?
We call this technique the 28 Second Hover. That’s all the rejection most people can stand, as they wait to be invited into a group of people who haven’t even acknowledged them standing there.
Remember, it’s not about you, it’s about them. They just don’t have the skills. Don’t take it personally.
It’s just good karma to welcome people into your group. So, as a matter of habit, always be the one who makes eye contact with a person wanting to join your group and when there is a break in the conversation, introduce them. That’s Positive Networking!
– Gayle Hallgren-Rezac, co-author of Work The Pond! (with Judy Thomson and Darcy Rezac)
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