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ou probably know how important social connections and acquaintances are in today's world. The right networking scripts help us get a job, find a doctor, meet people of interest or become a member of a trendy hobby club. The main thing is to find someone who will share with you the information or experience. The right script of communication and the right network of contacts will help to do this.
In this article, you'll find templates for messages, dialogues, and recommendations for eye-to-eye conversations that will help you to achieve your goal. Here are no trite tips about communicating as often as possible or attending various offline and online events. I have found truly cool, easy networking script examples from real life, books, and experts in this field.
What is actually making social connections?
Even if you think you're not using this model of behavior, you do. All participate daily in a ritual called «Pay it forward», creating close or weak connections with people. A conversation with a new girl in class, a dollar for coffee to a stranger, and a pen to a companion are your good deeds.
In the book, «Work the Pond! Use the Power of Positive Networking to Leap Forward in Work in Life» Darcy Rezac discusses the concept of positive networking in detail. His core idea is those good things create a chain of other good things. The more often you help someone, the more people will help you in the future.
Besides positive, there are two other varieties for which you can use networking scripts:
If you choose the negative model, you meet people only for profit or with a specific goal in mind. With a mixed model, you connect with others unselfishly, with true interest, but you still can get help if you need it.
Some folks think networking is nonsense. One thinks, «I'm an introvert, and connecting with someone else is for cool guys and extroverts». Another visits the opposite thought, «This kind of connecting is phony, I prefer not to be in contact with anyone for benefits». They are both right and wrong, but I'll tell you more about that next.
No one has to use networking scripts with every new acquaintance. Try to apply them based on the situation. In some contexts, you can take the initiative by contacting a specific person. This move is usually relevant for job searches.
Case in point: Masha suddenly received a letter with a job offer from an unfamiliar company. She was not unemployed and had never heard of the e-mail firm. Masha asked her husband for advice. It turned out that he knew about this company and told her to go for an interview. Two weeks later Masha got a new, interesting position.
Back in 2016, there was an article on the LinkedIn blog that 85% of people surveyed got a job because of great networking. Lou Adler's study included 3,000 participants, and it's been a long time since then. However, the trend is still valid today.
Meanwhile, in everyday life thanks to certain scripts, you can support a newcomer in a group, introduce a good specialist to an employer, find an interest club, mentors, etc.
Specifics and challenges with networking scripts
If it seems fake to you, or you're failing to use it well, you're doing something wrong. Check the 9 basic rules for communicating with humans online and in real life below. Perhaps there you will find the root of the problem.
Key networking principles for offline and online:
- Keep in touch only with those you are interested in or on the same page as you are.
- Stay respectful and give a friendly smile (online, a sign of treating is no mistakes and using the You-form).
- Call a person by his/her first name as often as possible.
- Avoid asking for a specific favor from someone you barely know.
- Do things that help others and do not expect to be repaid.
- Gratefully accept support (never tell you now owe somebody a favor, as this can offend a sincere desire to help).
- Generously share useful links to articles, books, films, and events on social media, in person, or online.
- Get usually greeting folks on holidays, giving nice, small gifts, or even sending postcards from travels.
- Do not force yourself to talk to someone if you don't want to, and avoid insisting on chatting with anyone who isn't open to the conversation.
The listed guidelines are important. Nevertheless, the main secret of successful networking scripts is to remain yourself and to be truthful. Our body language, some words, and even voice give away falsity. You will not build a quality connection with double-dealing, flattery, or lies.
Try to treat all people with enough honor, importance, and consideration. In the book mentioned earlier, Darcy Rezac gives the tale of the frog as a metaphor. One frog wanted to enter into a marriage of convenience and find royalty at the ball.
It planned to identify the most important person and treat it with due reverence. However, the other frog Socrates said the following: «Treat everyone like royalty. Remember, one person's frog may be another's princess».
Case in point: Ivan had no college education and worked at a gas station. He had a limited social circle, his school friends thought he was a loser. Five years later, he met Denis, interned for half a year in an SMM agency, and afterwards opened his business. After the dramatic financial success, Ivan was given proper deference, but he never resumed communication with his former classmates.
Pros and cons of using scripts
Helpful note: Pay attention to the quality of your networks, not the quantity. In the world of networking, there is such a thing as «Dunbar's number». This number is used to determine how many permanent connections a human being is capable of maintaining. On average, the «Dunbar's number» of a modern person is 150. Thanks to modern technology and applications, you can maintain much more quality contacts – 200, 250, etc.
Networking scripts #1. Templates for online communication
The age of the coronavirus has become the perfect environment for developing online conversation skills. Even if at parties or professional events you build on the sidelines without getting attention, online you can easily demonstrate your strengths. Checkmate introverts!
The most common way to communicate this way is through social media, interest groups, personal messages, and comments. To create such contact, there is no need to compose a long letter or prepare a speech. It is enough to follow a few simple tips:
- take an active role in conversations;
- help others with problems or give suggestions;
- be brief and open.
Once you've joined a particular group, it's important to become part of it and gain the trust of others. Here's how to do it.
Helpful note: You won't always get an immediate answer or help. This is fine. After a while, you can send a follow-up message or letter asking if the person is doing well. Just don't push or force communication with him or her. Sometimes because of work, school, or other things, people do not have time to read every message. Just move on and build another contact.
Online communication is increasingly taking place via video calls. Connect some other tips to be polite and respectful.
Cool networking scripts for online video chatting:
- wave your hand in greeting;
- place the camera far enough away so that others are comfortable;
- make your face look brighter, point a light source toward or sit in front of a window;
- look directly into the camera rather than at the screen;
- listen attentively to interlocutors and tilt your head slightly sideways.
Networking scripts #2. Templates for communicating via apps
Talking in apps is also considered something like a private club. It sets all the participants up for closer communication and puts them in touch immediately. All social networks for personal, work, and professional socializing have specific apps that you can install on a smartphone.
There is also niche software created ahead of some event, an annual conference, or other. In these, too, you can communicate with friends, expand your network of contacts, and find useful acquaintances. You don't have to sort through anything and the right persons with the necessary skills are already at your fingertips.
The clearest and easiest piece of advice is to be brief. You do not need to give a biography from birth or describe every step of your CV. If you want to find contact with a new person, look up information about it on the Internet (social networks, articles in magazines, on websites). You will surely find some topic of interest that you have in common. Use things for your first message that unite and can bring you closer together.
Some social networks impose a limit on the number of messages sent per day/week/month. This is done so that professionals and business owners are not disturbed by promotional offers. On the one hand, this is good, and you don't get spammed. On the other, you get less opportunity to apply a well script.
Helpful tip: To stay on track, you can download the business relationship management app. In it, you can limitlessly update and replenish your contact book, build deeper connections with pros, add birthday reminders, compile a mini-dossier on the person and supplement it with useful information.
Networking scripts #3. Templates for communicating offline
For some people, face-to-face interaction is not scary. Others, though, get lost, withdraw, and try to avoid attention. Relax! There are no school chicks here, no one will hurt or ignore you on purpose.
General tips for starting a conversation:
- say hello, and ask how the person is doing. This casual gesture is sure to cheer the other up and allows the conversation to continue;
- if you know your companion a little, ask him or her about a pet, hobby, or other common topics. Talk about a well-known fact or ask for an opinion on the weather. As I wrote above, don't discuss money, politics, or religion;
- take a sincere interest in what the individual has to say. Listening is the best skill for making new acquaintances. Active listeners, who pay attention to all is saying, are some of the most successful networkers;
- try not to hold any objects in your hands, don't check the phone every 5-10 minutes, and gesticulate. Psychologists believe that open palms signal to others that you are unconditionally participating in communication;
- arrange the accents during the conversation, make pauses longer or shorter, don't mutter under your nose, and speak clearly. The monotonous manner of speaking tires some people and makes them drowsy.
If you like the person, and you want more than just small talk, ask the right questions. Do ask for an opinion, for something to explain, or for advice. Also, keep a card handy, so you can exchange contacts quickly and not create awkward moments. Otherwise, the above scripts won't be useful.
Helpful note: Paper cards look stylish, but in today's world it's better to use innovative solutions. There are comfortable applications, where you can create a template of your card for work, networking, etc. Scanning a QR code with your contact information is great. I use it all the time.
Networking scripts #4. Templates for events
These days, events are held both offline and online. For these meetings, the organizers create software, closed groups, and chat rooms where participants can communicate. The advantage of online or offline events is that the audience interested in new acquaintances and socializing is concentrated there.
Almost always in apps or groups, there are lively discussions and chit-chat about what happened. When an event is over, user activity drops off, but you can still find interesting friends at such activities. Since events are in two formats, you can easily use the scripts described above.
Next, I want to focus more on how to cultivate relationships with new acquaintances after the meeting. To connect with professional contacts it is better to use social networks like LinkedIn, Xing, Ryze, Viadeo, or Startup Nation. When you can have a nice conversation, afterward ask the person you are talking to for details on one of these sites.
Why? After a day or two, you can write a message saying that it was a pleasure to meet such a personality and chat with him or her for a while.
Script for private message or follow-up email:
Hope you're having a great day and are in a good mood.
It was exciting to meet you at the beekeepers' conference last Friday and talk about the problem of bee extinction. Just today, I found some interesting research on the subject and thought you might be interested in it. I'm attaching a link to the National Geographic article.
Again, I want to say that it's a pleasure to know you and I want to look forward to keeping in touch. If you have the time and desire, let me know your opinion on the article or let's go to the museum together. I heard from a friend that they are opening an exhibit about bees in a week.
Wishing you the best,
Helpful note: To make it more efficient and easier to say hello, stand at the exit of the lobby or conference room rather than in a corner. That way more people pass you, and you have lots of opportunity for small talk. An equally good position is near the buffet or bar. You won't believe how suitable such a location is for talking easily.
Networking scripts #5. Templates for business
Some books advise you to write down every new acquaintance in a notebook and make a brief dossier on him or her when forming business contacts. This is exactly the kind of networking script Bill Clinton used when he was a student.
For example, note how he addresses you (you or You), what he/she does, what he/she likes, and what his/her hobbies are. Also, some experts advise dividing your network of acquaintances into close friends, followers, associates, and mentors. There is a not unreasonable theory that in this way you will immediately see where and in which group there are not enough contacts.
In the early stages, my advice is to focus on depth and tight connection, not the number of people in your address book. To begin with, try to find buddies in the same business area without thinking about prospects or benefits.
After the connection has taken place, you can deepen the dialogue and get the person interested. This can be done in few ways:
- letting the partner talk and listening to him or her;
- mirror the person's pose and actions (open posture, turning the head to the side, proper distance and gestures);
- engage the new acquaintance in discussion and debate with himself or herself.
The last technique is extremely risk-free and quick to practice. Let's say you're already having a nice conversation with a certain human being, and you're interested in exchanging information. Use mirroring to leave the most pleasant impression on your interlocutor.
How does it work?
Say you are discussing choosing winter car tires, and you are arguing about whether it is better to choose a studded or studless type of tire. Your companion says the following:
– Tires with studs ruin autobahns. If a thousand cars with studded tires drove down the road, there would be cracks and rainwater would slowly erode the highway surface.
–Destroy the surface?
– Yes! Rainwater gets into the cracks, the material becomes softer over time, and under the weight of the cars, the autobahn crumbles!
– Under the weight of the cars?
– Yes, yes! …
After a few days, make a follow-up email, using the example from networking scripts #4, or write to a social media site like LinkedIn. Show the person that you care about and want to keep in touch with.
Helpful note: If you do want to follow Bill Clinton's example of building a network, then you can do it innovative. There is now software that replaces the notebook. You can make a memo about the other person, enter his or her interests, and so on. It won't look weird or suspicious.
We hope our tips have helped you make contact online or offline. Don't feel bad if you don't connect with a certain person right away. Sometimes you may not get an answer, or it may take too long. Instead of focusing on such a road block, it's better to move on to talking to new folks. You can also modify the suggested scripts to suit yourself or different situations. Our examples are flexible to fit any situation. Good luck!