Business is so much easier when you know the parties involved and GKAR networking events like the Fall 4:01 and Spring 4:01 are great ways to meet other real estate professionals. Regardless of whether you're a seasoned socializer or if the term "networking" makes you squirm, these 8 Clever Conversation Starters are helpful anytime you feel like you just need to break the ice.
1) "Hi, I'm 'X.'"
It actually works. Just be sure you have something to follow your introduction, so that you don't end up staring at each other in silence. And as you'll see, that's the key to most conversation starters -- be ready with a follow-up. Saying "hi" is just your way to get the ball rolling, so be sure you can keep the exchange going and take it to the next level.
2) "That (food or beverage) looks great. Where did you find it?"
This question can offer a few different answers. The person might just tell you where they got it, or they could go into a description or a comment on the quality. Not sure where to go from there? Tell them about a place where you once had the best version of whatever they're drinking or snacking on. But frame it as a question -- "Have you ever been to Hawaii? I once had the best fish tacos there."
This technique also works with neutral compliments, like telling someone that you love their bag or jacket. Most people enjoy receiving positive feedback, and will probably follow up with a story about where or how they got it (and, if they don't follow up, ask them about it -- remember, keep the conversation going).
3) "Do you know if there's a coat check?"
This allows you the opportunity to leverage the communal confusion that occurs at every event. When you first arrive, no one really knows what they're doing. But anyone who does will jump at the chance to be "in the know."
4) "I can't believe how cold/hot/beautiful it is today."
Talking about the weather sounds so cliché, but it actually works. Again, just be prepared to keep the conversation going.
5) "You guys look like you're having the most fun over here. Mind if I join this conversation?"
Of course, you'll probably want to say that to people who actually look like they're having a good time. And really, who's going to say "no" to that? If they do, chances are, you'll want to find another group to hang out with, anyway.
6) "Well, while we're here, I might as well introduce myself."
At events, you often find yourself waiting in line for something -- a drink ticket, the restroom, or food, to name a few. Why not use that time for something productive, like meeting the people around you.
7) "Did you go to "X"?"
Being a Member of the same Association, events are guaranteed common ground, so use that to your advantage. It's a great starting point that can go in a lot of different conversational directions -- did you go to Blast Off? Did you attend the Spring 4:01 at Latitude 42? What did you think of the venue?
8) "Is this your first time at this event?"
If the answer is "no," use that to make the person feel like an expert, without overwhelming them. Ask them what was different about it last year, and what they're excited about this year.
But first-timers can empathize with you, and you can even ask them some of the same questions, like what made them come to the event in the first place and how they're liking it so far. You're still opening up the conversation to a potential "me, too" moment.
*Source: Hubspot - http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/conversation-starters-networking-events?utm_campaign=blog-rss-emails&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=34284021#sm.00057w89pkwgczf10e227kavespem