Today, we have Susan RoAne on the show to talk about her phenomenal book, How to Work a Room. This is important for anyone whether you’re an entrepreneur or a salesperson so you would know how to capitalize on the networking events you go to and have a really good time.
Susan is on her 37th year of business now where she runs a speaking business and teaches people how to work a room, how to network, connect, mingle, and converse with other people.
Her book has been featured on the front pages of the Lifestyle Section of the USA TODAY, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times and other magazines throughout the country. Not only has she proven herself to be a bestselling author and content expert, but she also wants everyone to turn into merry mingling experts!
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Susan:
What is an entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur is someone who will do everything to keep from getting a job. (which includes vacuuming the office, cleaning the trash clans, be your own PR, and make your own coffee for the coffee break)
Don’t spend when you don’t have to.
Most of us can run our businesses from our home space. If you want to be around people, a coworking space is a wonderful option. But don’t spend to have something you don’t need when starting your business.
Don’t either just throw away things that you can still use (or even others may still find use for). Susan actually wrote her books on the back of used paper with No.2 pencils with good erasers.
Effective Ways to Work The Room:
- Get out of your office.
If you’re someone who never sees people, then you should be in a coworking space.
- Have a network of people in your life who come from different disciplines that you can run things by.
Having these people in your life can tell you the truth so you won’t have to throw money on bright shiny objects just because other people tell you to.
- Always show up when you say yes.
Get the e-vite or the invite. Look at the calendar so you can see what kind of event it is and RSVP. And if you say you’re going to be there, show up.
4 There is no reason to go to any room cold.
Go online. Check LinkedIn or the group’s website. Google people, events, and their particular organization. Have sufficient information handy so the moment you go in, you feel prepared.
- Read a newspaper.
Whether you read it online or get it curated or regardless of where it comes from, know what is going on in the word. Having a general notion and knowledge of what’s happening will give you more confidence since you can have something to talk about.
- Have your own planned, practiced self-introduction.
Before you go, know what you can do to make yourself comfortable and teach people how to respond to you. You have 7-9 seconds self-introduction. Customize it according to the event you’re going to in order to give people context for why you are there.
- Do not give your title.
When you meet people at events, your title has no meaning. What you need to do, instead of saying out your title, so people know who you are and that you’re personalizing your introduction, is say the benefit of what you do. This gives people something that they can hook the first question on to.
- Invite people to participate.
When someone asks about you, say a little bit. Then stop. And turn it around with these magic words, “And what about you?” This way, you invite them into the conversation.
- Don’t ask people too many questions.
When you ask people a lot of questions, you put them on the spot.Then you make them all the talking and you don’t share about yourself or a story, a fact, or an interest or observation. So there is no way to connect with you. Instead of being an interrogator, have some stories and ideas and information that you can share with them.
- Bring who you are to what you do.
People relate to the small things in our lives that we have in common. Establish a commonality through small talks Have that dialogue and do not grill people.
- Make sure you prepare.
This doesn’t mean just preparing your conversation but also prepare your attitude. The people who are going to succeed are the people who can talk to other people.
- Go into every room, every event, every meeting, etc., and think what you can do to make other people comfortable with you.
- Be a lifelong learner.
If you see everyone in the room is someone that knows that you don’t know that they can share with you and teach you then appreciate what other people have to offer to you.
Susan’s Major Takeaway:
When you go to any event, always say yes. Show up. Big smile. Be very approachable. Keep a mindset that you will have a great time and meet interesting people then you will. If you’re going to a room to have fun then the room will work you.
Susan RoAne’s book How to Work a Room
Connect with Susan on www.susanroane.com or on Twitter @susanroane. Sign up for her email list to get a copy of her eBook, Nuances of Business Networking for free. Or do it the old school way and call her through phone at 415-461-3915.
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