If you struggle with networking and how to start a conversation with someone new, this technique is for you! We all know that making good connections and building relationships are two very important keys to building a successful business.
The reality is that people do business with people they know, like, and trust. It takes time to build valuable and deep relationships in business and sometimes it’s hard to know what to talk about with a new connection. I learned a simple technique a long time ago that I still use to this day. If you can remember the word F.O.R.M., you can remember this technique too.
F.O.R.M. stands for Family, Occupation, Recreation, Money. These four words are prompts to help you know what to ask during a conversation to get know someone better. They are subjects that most people are very passionate about and want to talk about.
Family – This simple conversation starter is as easy as “tell me about your family.” People love to share about their family, especially if they have kids (even four legged kids). Lot’s of times they will even pull up pictures to share with you. This is a safe and easy way to get the conversation warmed up. It puts everyone at ease. Just be careful not to assume they are married, have kids etc. That’s why I recommend the simple statement of “tell me about your family.” This helps them feel comfortable and open sharing who they are and what their family structure is. It shows you don’t have any preconceived notion of what a “family” looks like.
Occupation– You may already know what they do for a living when you’re introduced, but you may not know the details of what they do. Asking them to share more about their business or job helps you learn more about the perfect client for them. You can even come right out and ask “if I were to refer someone to you, what does that perfect client look like?” By digging deeper and not assuming, it helps you make quality connections and referrals for them. People appreciate when you care about the details.
Recreation – Most people have hobbies they love and like to tell you about. You can ask, “what are your favorite things to do when you’re not working?” This question will help you see what you may or may not have in common. People like to hang around with, and do business with, people who have the same interests and hobbies.
Money – You are NOT going to ask them how much they make. What you are getting at here is what motivates them to do what they do. “Why did you decide to get into the business of…?” This will help you understand the passion they have for their profession and what it means to them. You may find their motivation to choose their profession inspiring and you may want to partner with them even more when you know the story behind their why.
When you follow this simple technique, I believe you’re going to find that you’re less anxious about meeting someone new.If you find this technique helpful, feel free to pass this email on to a friend.
For more help with networking, be sure to check out our other Blog posts.
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Have a fabulous week!
Women in Networking Connect, Inc.