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Your 3 best connecting strategies

The Chronicle’s Business blog /

MaryEllen Tribby believes “connecting” is a better word than “networking.” Her 3 best connecting strategies are:

1. Cultivate relationships. Project an image of warmth, approachability, understanding, knowledge, empathy, and an ability to engage. Be genuine. Take an interest in everyone you meet. Remember their names. Listen to understand their needs and how you can help.

2. Make small talk. Learn to talk to anyone about anything. Initiating conversations helps you connect with people who may become valuable contacts. Use a few key phrases such as “Where are you from?” “How did you get started?” and “Do you have children?”

3. Actively listen. Connecting is not about selling. It is about listening and showing your interest in them. Allow others to open up and talk freely. Give your undivided attention even if it is only for a few moments. Take an interest in what’s said and acknowledge this by nodding or agreeing. Use positive body language with eye contact. This means you are not looking over their shoulder to see who else is around. We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.” For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633.

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