Lan Nguyen, Klout
  • By Lan Nguyen
  • 24 Apr 2012

Want to have online Klout? Get offline and start talking!

Love it or loathe it, there's no denying that networking in the real world (yes, away from all social media!) is one of the keys to success in business.

Offline networking is so much more than collecting a Business Card with a breezy "nice to have met you!" So if you're looking to expand your circle and build the relationships you need to develop both personally and professionally, check out these top Klout tips on the art of a great networking conversation.

1. That's a great question

When you're talking to someone interesting with the aim of making a new contact, don't become too engrossed in self-promotion. So, make sure you ask great questions - they can be thought provoking, business related, hobby related, topical, or semi-personal, but they must convey genuine interest. And keep it positive – don't talk about your problems or get too personal. You don't want to be memorable for all the wrong reasons.

2. How interesting, tell me more

A great conversation derives from genuine curiosity. Add that to the above point – great questions – and you've got a solid foundation for a memorable dialogue between strangers. So, in short – be interested!

3. Can you repeat that?

There's nothing like repeating a few well-chosen keywords during a conversation to reinforce the message you're trying to get across. Obviously you need to be careful – otherwise you'll end up sounding a bit strange! But by subtly repeating a few key facts about your business, such as the name, the product or the mission statement, you'll be helping them remember you. A funny story always works, or something remarkable about a member of your team.

4. Use your ears

When you're talking to someone interesting with the aim of making a new contact, don't become too engrossed in self-promotion. Listen to what the other person is saying! Not only could you learn something new about a particular field or job, but you might also pick up on common interests and goals.

5. Get out what you put in

Remember that networking is a two-way street and that you should first add value before you ask for anything. Recommend an article to read, suggest meeting for coffee, or refer that person to your friend who might be relevant. The more you listen and become a resource for others, the more people will reach out to you and reciprocate.

Lan Nguyen works on the marketing team at Klout. You can use Klout to connect with people in the topical communities you care about.

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