Some of us are natural conversationalists. For others, not so much. But there are times when we meet someone we know can be a valuable business asset or customer. Here are a few good conversation starters …
- Do you know … Mutual acquaintances help people think of you as familiar and part of their work or social circle.
- A shared experience. Are you from the same town? Go to the same school? Have a common hobby? This is always a good way to get someone talking.
- Compliment them. “Great shirt.” “I love that handbag.” Appreciate their taste. But remember, comments on physical appearances are off limits. And never overdo it.
- Note something pleasant. “This is a great venue.” Starting a conversation with a positive is better than something negative.
- The weather. It’s a shared experience and this is the one time that if it’s a negative — like the weather stinks — you can bring it up.
- Information, please. Everyone likes to be helpful.
- Help, please. “Could you press 3 for me, please?” It makes a person feel helpful, so long as it’s a request that doesn’t require too much of them or their time.
- Offer assistance. “I have an extra program.” “Want to use my pen?” “Let me get the door.” Offering help builds trust.
- Ask for their opinion. “Did you like the speech?” “How is that phone working for you?” People like to think their opinions are valuable and want to give them.
- Just say hi. Walk up and introduce yourself. Going out of your way to meet someone will make them feel important and want to talk to you.
What are your go-to conversation starters? And anytime you want to practice your conversation skills, we’re great listeners.
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Trish Cowan, Senior Copywriter