It’s that special day, where you are pretty much forced to get out there and socialize. No matter where you are and who you are spending time with, remember that as an entrepreneur – you are always on the clock. That being said, as you ring in 2013, keep in mind that your social skills and networking techniques are always going to influence your ability to procure funding for your deals. As a Canadian-based U.S. real estate investor, I can promise you that finding the deals is one challenge in the process – however getting funding is the crucial task.
Don’t be nervous about this! It is normal to feel a bit uncomfortable when you step outside your comfort zone but take the plunge! It will be well worth your effort when you realize how simple it is to connect with people. When you first start out talking to others, you may feel anxious or seem awkward – that’s pretty normal. Give yourself at least 3 months before you start to get the hang of it. A lot of the most successful people throughout history would devote time weekly to go over social interactions and focus on areas of improvement. Now, I’m not saying you need to take up this habit (although some self-reflexivity can be extremely useful), BUT you do need to make an effort to communicate with other individuals.
Whether you are starting off 2013 as a U.S. real estate investor, entrepreneur or otherwise, it’s always a good idea to brush up on those networking tactics.
To help you out, I’ve listed 5 foolproof ice breakers to initiate conversations. I recommend giving them a try tonight while you are celebrating and see how they work for you:
1) “I really like your…”
One great way to initiate a conversation at an event is to compliment an article of clothing or an accessory. As an opener or a follow-up to an opener, this is generally a fairly comfortable way to begin a conversation. Alternatively, if you are really shy, you might want to try to have a conversation piece, like a gaudy necklace or a primary color shirt. That way, others will notice how your appearance is approachable.
2) “It’s really cold (or hot) in here”
Commenting about the general atmosphere can be a non-committal way to start a conversation. Either the person agrees or disagrees, you start talking about how you got to the event and bada-bing bada-boom – suddenly you’re tlaking career goals.
3) “Hi, I’m…”
Ah the brilliance of simplicity. Yes, if you just introduce yourself to someone you can actually strike up a conversation. The vital trick to make this work? An outstretched hand and good eye contact.
4) “Is it just me or is it quieter on this side of the room?”
This totally works. If you are at an event and you start with this you’re golden. You will start a conversation with ease here.
5) “Man I hate schmoozing”
This one works when you spot another monosalavic kindred spirit across the room, this can be a good one. Mind you, this isn’t great at the start of an even, once you are well into the networking and people have been exchanging pleasantries for at least 30 minutes, this line can be a welcome ice breaker.
Keep in mind that when you are being yourself people respond to you better. Use these openers to get you past that initial shyness. It’s a good idea to read a few non-controversial news articles to have some interesting follow-up information to share with people you meet at events. Also, don’t underestimate the power of bathroom lines – it’s an easy way to start a conversation with someone.
Finally – don’t leave home without your business cards… they will come in handy.
Cheers to 2013!