How many times have you attended various functions feeling quite uncomfortable because you did not know anyone there? Has this gripping fear and discomfort ever prevented you from attending an event? Have you ever found yourself leaving shortly after you have arrived because you did not know anyone else in the room? These are common occurrences. Consider those times when you have toughed it out and stayed for a while... what helped you get cozy enough to stay? It was likely a person who bumped into you, smiled or politely began a conversation with you. At that moment, the entire atmosphere changed from chilliness to warmth.
These functions and events provide a unique opportunity to practice and perfect a wonderful sales and personal development technique, as well as an opportunity to simultaneously expand your networking skills. Learn how to play host! Whether or not you are the official host is not important. Take it upon yourself to help make others feel comfortable, helping them to maximize their experience. You will not only make many new friends, you will successfully network with countless others who will genuinely think the world of you and be most interested in what you do. The key is sincerity.
I recall attending a business seminar in Charleston, SC a couple of years ago that featured Brian Tracy, and other inspiring teachers. I had a full ticket which included a small-group breakfast with Brian himself. I arrived early and discovered I was the second person in the room. My eyes met the other man sitting at a nearby table, hoping that I wouldn't notice him. Smiling, I walked towards him, extending my hand and introducing myself as I approached. He obviously felt much more at ease and became quite talkative. As others began to arrive, I made it a point to meet and greet all of them, providing introductions to many. By the time Mr. Tracy arrived in the room, our three round tables were filled with new friends and warm conversation. I had made many new friends, established many new contacts and helped others to do the same.
I don't tell this short story to toot my own horn, but to illustrate the power and benefits of adopting this hosting strategy, even if you only apply it to a small number of persons. Everyone wins. Yes, it does require a considerable stretch of your comfort zone. You may have to gently push yourself. Again, the key is sincerity and remaining genuine. Just be yourself, be kind and smile. You will find that you will soon put others at ease and become more relaxed yourself, allowing new relationships to flourish.
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