holidaypartyEpisode 354 of The Solopreneur Hour is based on the book How to Win Friends & Influence People, with a modern holiday spin, and a peppering of best practices for establishing rapport, NLP and how to connect like a pro.

My hope is that you’ll hear this show and be armed and ready to connect with people at any group gathering, club scene, or first date.  If you have any questions or comments, leave them in the comment section below!

More About How to Connect Like a Pro

There is an art to connecting with people, and it’s an art not everyone has mastered. The good news is it can be learned and today’s episode is a point by point guide to doing so! There are nine points in total, but they’re easy to remember and I’ve included suggestions on how to implement all of them.

1. How to Connect When You First Meet Someone.
There’s a lot that happens in the first few seconds of meeting someone and you can do plenty to make a good first impression. Be sure to smile and look them in the eye while you shake their hand. Also concentrate on remembering their name. To really embed it in your mind you can shake their hand, look them in the eye and say: “John it’s really nice to meet you John.” Now you’ve said their name twice so you remember it, and you’ve made eye contact with a smile to let them know you are friendly. All of which will go a long way to making a good first impression.

2. If You Want Others to Like You Don’t Criticize Them.
This may seem like a no-brainer but just notice the next time you’re talking to someone, and catch yourself if you’re about to critic them in some way. To really take this step to a whole new level try going a month without complaining or criticizing, and see how different you are at the end of that month.

3. If You Want People to Gladly Do You Favors Show Your Appreciation Frequently.
Show your appreciation when someone does something for you, whether it’s answer a question you asked or let you crash on their couch for a night. Go out of your way to show your thanks and gratitude by sending them a thank you note, some flowers or buying them a drink or dinner. You’ll be amazed at how much more willing people are to do things for you when you practice showing appreciation.

4. Be Interested, Not Interesting.
This also goes a long way towards helping you connect like a pro to make friends and influence people. Learn to ask questions, not be the center of the questions. Not sure what to talk about? Use the FORM method: F for family, O for occupation, R for recreation, M for motivation. Those are all things about themselves that people love to talk about.

5. Show Appreciation For Others by Talking About What’s Important to Them.
The bottom line is people like people who are like themselves, find out what the other person likes and use your body language to mimic them so they’ll open up to you and share that information. Once you strike on a topic that you can see matters to them ask more questions: if it’s their kids ask how old they are, what activities their kids like to do, etc.

6. Remember Someone’s Name.
There’s a trick I learned when I moved to new cities: when I go somewhere like a networking event, a restaurant or a bar I’ll learn the waitress’ name or the bartender’s name and I strike up a conversation with them. Later I’ll open my Evernote and make a note of who they are and where they work so the next time I come in I’ll check that note and remind myself of that person. I make sure to tip them well if it’s a service industry person and learn things about them.

7. Avoid All Arguments That Can’t Be Won.
This is a lesson many people on social media need to learn in today’s climate. Posting political or other ideological posts on Facebook does nothing to persuade others, only to alienate people. As solopreneurs we don’t want to alienate people because we disagree on one topic (and we probably agree on countless others); we want to include as many people in our tribe as possible. So stop posting inflammatory things on social media, you aren’t going to convince anyone and no one can stand on middle ground today.

8. Whenever You Are Wrong Admit It Immediately And Clearly.
The next time you’re with a group of influential and powerful people watch what we they do when they are wrong: the majority of people will admit it humbly and apologize immediately. No one likes a know-it-all so do the same in your own life.

9. To Be Convincing Get Others to Say Yes as Often as Possible.
If someone is saying yes to your conversation they are sharing real insights into who they are and what they are about. You can do this with anyone, don’t be intimidated by someone’s status or fame. Have a normal conversation with them and get to know them as a person. And always be sure to keep a few good jokes in your bag of conversation tricks: one dirty and one clean one!

Those are nine key points you can use to connect like a pro whether you’re on a date, at a holiday party or simply building rapport with a person you’ve just met. And if you’ve really established a connection with someone you can use the ultimate question to deepen it: what did your childhood smell like?

Tune in to hear why that question is so powerful, what it tells you about the other person almost immediately and loads of other great conversation tips on episode 354 of The Solopreneur Hour.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: What suggestions or tips would you add to today’s episode? Let us know in the comments below!

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Select Links and Resources From This Episode

Find out more about The Solopreneur Hour
How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie (audio book)
How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less, Nicholas Boothman (audio book)
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