How do you approach someone in a networking environment? We know that real estate investing is a team sport, so we need to get out there and meet people, but what’s the most effective way to do that.
I’ve been taught to introduce myself, ask them questions, look interested. That’s fine, but two people are talking already – do I just step in and interrupt? Stand by and listen? Or only seek out individuals standing alone?
If you’re at a conference for real estate, there’s a lobby, and people are talking in the lobby, they want to meet people – you. You have to make the move and stop being shy. Almost 100% of the time people already in groups, 2 or more, want to talk and meet more people. They might not look up right away but look for ways to contribute to the conversation and you’ll be welcomed.
What to say? Others have shared that you can ask them why they’re there. Are you here looking for investors in your deals or for a smoking hot deal. That might get some attention but it’s not always the best opening line.
What does work best nearly always is to be authentic. Be yourself. Are you the person who can pull off an assertive intro? If not, don’t try it. If you can, be sure you can follow through because if you learned one great conversation starter but then stumble, you are not being authentic.
Asking questions is the number one way to engage a new contact. Take interest, think of things you’d like to know about them, like where they’re from, what they’re interested in, why they came, etc. Somewhere in there will be a conversation.
When you ask intelligent questions, you come across as informed, experienced, and potentially someone they’d like to work with, and that’s why you came to the conference.