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Maximize Your Impact at the Chase for Business Make Your Move Summit

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    The Make Your Move Summit represents the opportunity to cultivate business relationships, expand networks and forge connections. Networking is a continuous process. While technical skills are essential, the ability to engage in meaningful conversations and cultivate connections is equally vital. Here are a few tips that business professionals can utilize to enhance their rapport-building and networking skills:

    • - Greet people warmly, maintain eye contact and smile. Be the first to initiate conversation in order to be seen as approachable. It's crucial to be mindful of your body language, as appearing nervous or ill-at-ease can make others uncomfortable. Project confidence and comfort, even in moments of uncertainty.
    • - Use the person's name during conversation. If you're unfamiliar with someone's name, take a moment to inquire, and then repeat it, ensuring correct pronunciation. Never assume a nickname; for example, my name is Debra, not Debbie. Small details like this carry significant weight.
    • - Demonstrate genuine interest in others. In today's high-tech environment dominated by emails and texts, there's a growing need for personal attention and service. Showing genuine interest in others creates a lasting impression.
    • - Dive deeper into conversations. When engaging in dialogue, take the opportunity to explore further. If someone mentions a vacation, ask about the destination, activities, highlights and whether they would revisit it again. This demonstrates active engagement and makes the other person feel valued. Always follow up general inquiries like "How's work?" with specific questions such as "What's been happening at work since we last spoke?" to convey genuine interest.
    • - Be an attentive listener. Maintain eye contact and respond with verbal cues to indicate active listening. Phrases like "tell me more," "what happened next," or "that must have been difficult" show that you're actively engaged in the conversation.
    • - Prepare for conversations in advance. Before attending an event, spend a few minutes preparing to discuss three topics that you can easily engage in. This preparation can help navigate through awkward moments and facilitate smoother interactions. Some examples:
      • “What other types of business conferences or meetings do you attend?”
      • “How did you get started in your industry?”
      • “What has been a top takeaway so far today?”
      • “Are you from this part of the country or from somewhere else?”
      • “What are you most looking forward to this summer?”
    • - Have graceful exit lines prepared for conversations. It's essential to move around and meet new people. Make a positive impression by shaking hands and bidding farewell graciously as you depart.
    • - Stay in touch proactively. Take the initiative to extend invitations and maintain communication. Utilize opportunities like the networking sessions at Make Your Move Summit to connect with like-minded business owners or visit The Solution Center for assistance in staying connected. Always seek permission before initiating further communication and be respectful of boundaries. Examples:

    “I’d love to stay in communication, I sent you a LinkedIn invitation.”
    “With your permission, I’d like to keep you updated on areas that will benefit your business.”

    Set up a “Google alert” for each individual you meet as well as their business, this way you have an excuse to reach out when that person or their industry is in the news.

    Every encounter involves an element of risk, but by continuously seeking to meet new people and demonstrating genuine interest in others, you'll cultivate business friendships and enjoy enriching conversations.



    Top 10 Icebreakers

    1. “What initially sparked your interest in marketing?”
    2. “What has been going on with work/the project since I last saw you?”
    3. “Bring me up to date about your life since the last time we got together...”
    4. “Tell me about some plans you have for the upcoming year…”
    5. “Tell me about your family…”
    6. “Describe your typical day...”
    7. “How has social media impacted your business?”
    8. “What do you hope to get out of this program?”
    9. “Describe your connection to this organization/association…”


    Conversation Killers to Avoid:

    1. “Are you married?” or “Do you have any kids?” Where are you going with either one of these if the response is “No”?
    2. “How's your job at fill in the blank?” Unless you know a person well, assume nothing! Don't put them on the spot like that. Instead ask: “Catch me up on work?”
    3. “How's your wife?” Instead: “Bring me up to date on your family?” Or: “What has been going on with the family?”
    4. Don’t interrupt unless you need to go! Most of us interrupt because we believe the other person is wrong. Hear them out, then respond.
    5. Offering unsolicited advice such as “Why not offer consulting as part of the package?” or “Have you tried LinkedIn?” is not helpful. Instead ask…”How can I help?”.

    Debra Fine is a former engineer now bestselling author of The Fine Art of Small Talk How to Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills - and Leave a Positive Impression (Hachette). She travels around the globe as a keynote speaker delivering tailored programs on conversation and rapport building skills and networking techniques.