Some people have trouble getting a conversation going. Don’t panic. Often it is as simple as asking a question such as, “How’s your day going?” That’s a better question than, How are you doing? or What’s new? because it is more timely, direct and specific. The person may respond, “Terrific! I’m having a great day.” Or they may launch into a number of trials they are facing. Either way be sure you listen to the response and be prepared to comment if appropriate or ask further questions.
When networking for business it is important to build rapport and cultivate a relationship with new prospects, or people you meet who can become part of your referral network, or a potential friend. Be open to building a relationship even if you are not clear where this person might fit into your business or personal life. That is what building a network is all about. A virtual web of people who know who you are and have come to like you and ultimately trust you. People will like you if you show a genuine interest in them. This will lead to stronger business relationships and a richer life.