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Talk to Strangers: How Everyday, Random Encounters Can Expand Your Business, Career, Income, and Life by David Topus

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Chapter 19

Leave No Stone Unturned

Knowing the profile of those you want to meet is essential for maximizing your random connecting efforts. And these people don’t always have to be directly involved in buying something from you. Their value may lie in their ability to direct or introduce you to people who can. Maybe they work for a company; maybe they work for themselves. If you are seeking an employment opportunity, they might be directly responsible for hiring; or maybe they are simply influential in the process.

The ability to assess your new connection’s precise leverage point requires multiple levels of mental processing. In other words, you have to concentrate on a few things at once. To begin with, you have to broach the conversation in a friendly, nonthreatening way and attempt to build some rapport. From there, you steer the conversation in a direction that will help you gain the information you need to determine where the opportunity exists. If you’re in the business world, seeking new customers, a new employer, or new contacts within a target company, you will, of course, want to know this person’s line of work.

Asking high-quality questions with a sense of authentic curiosity will help you build an interpersonal connection and assess the opportunity. Once you know where this person works, it’s very natural to then ask what exactly that person does for the company. It’s an intuitive, logical, sequential conversation path of information gathering that does not threaten ...

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