At the age of 18, when I went from high school to university, there was one thing I was sure of: I had to master the art of small talk.
I was the only person going to that university, hence, I knew no one. We had a freshman camp a few days before the first day of school, where all the freshmen (in our case hundreds of actual men and 4 women) came together for a few days of teambuilding.
The formula was simple
If you knew no one at the university, you won’t get valuable notes for your studies. You won’t know which consultation to attend and won’t be introduced to any pretty ladies along the years.
I dreaded this scenario.
So I grabbed all the tools in my possession to make new friends.
The first day, I tried to memorize all the names that I heard. Then I practiced them by calling everyone their names. Then whenever the organizers asked for a volunteer for a challenge, I volunteered first so people would remember me. And finally, I tried to be as friendly to everyone as I could be.
Freshman camp finished, the first day of school came
Just as quickly as the sun dries up the water after a heavy desert storm, by the 3rd day into university, I also forgot most of the learned names.
And that was what I was expecting from my peers as well.
That was why the next event hit me
When 200 of us were getting up after a finished class, one of the guys came up to me and said: “Hey, Atis, what’s up?”. I had no clue who he was. “I remember you from the freshman camp,” he said. “You were the guy who was into all sorts of activities. How are you doing?”
I was stunned. Not only he remembered my face, but also my name and it turned out even more than that.
Guess what, by the second year I knew a lot of my peers, had the valuable notes, I knew where to go if I had a question and also got to know some pretty ladies. 😉
In fact, I only subscribed to one mailing list, I rarely attended some classes and still was able to keep myself updated with everything I needed to know.
If you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, building a network is not your option but it’s a must.
However, there are tricks to it. You can’t just rush to a stranger at a conference and tell them “Hi, I’m Atis, I help startups develop their pitches, how may I help you?” It is too direct.
Build up the trust with small talk
You have to build up yourself and the connection to your client. Get to know them. What hobbies do they like? Where do they live? Do they have children? (Not everything has to be checked, though. :))
You can build a connection with these topics through small talk. Connection, that will help you to gain their trust.
If I do it right, then I can be sure that one time, if they or their friends need someone to improve their pitch, they definitely will think of the trustworthy guy, that they know: Atis.
We are about to launch a training that is around the theme of business small talk. What are the challenges and how to overcome them?
If you are interested, please sign up below.
Learn to Smalltalk
Not everyone is a natural born talker. Still the skill of casual smalltalk can be learned.
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