Small Talk, Big Impact

The ability to engage in effective small talk with ease is a valuable asset for anyone, but especially business owners. Whether you’re attending networking events, meeting prospective customers or clients, or seeking referrals or reviews, mastering the art of small talk can open doors to new opportunities and foster lasting relationships.

While some individuals may seem naturally adept at making small talk, it’s a skill that can be developed and improved with practice. By following these tips, you can gain confidence and proficiency in engaging conversations that can contribute to the growth and success of your small business.

What to talk about:

  • Current events 
  • Local news or community happenings
  • Shared interests or hobbies
  • Compliments (sincere and appropriate)
  • Travel experiences
  • Sports (if both parties have an interest)

What not to talk about:

  • Politics or religion (unless you know the other person shares your views)
  • Controversial or divisive issues
  • Personal or private matters
  • Offensive or inappropriate jokes or comments
  • Negative or critical remarks about others

Conversation starters:

  • “How did you get involved in your line of work?”
  • “What brings you to this event/meeting?”
  • “Have you been a member of this group for long?”
  • “How did you get started in your business?”
  • “I noticed you’re from (town). What’s it like living there?”
  • “Have you had a chance to explore [local attraction/restaurant]?”
  • “I’m always looking for recommendations. Do you have any favorite (books/movies/restaurants)?”

Asking for referrals, reviews, or follow-up meetings:

  • “I really enjoyed our conversation today. Would you be open to continuing our discussion over coffee/lunch?”
  • “If you know anyone who could benefit from our (product/service), I’d greatly appreciate a referral.”
  • “I value your opinion. If you’ve had a positive experience with our business, would you consider leaving a review?”

Remember, small talk is not about delivering a rehearsed script or monopolizing the conversation. It’s about engaging in a natural, two-way dialogue that allows both parties to connect and build rapport. Active listening, asking follow-up questions, and showing genuine interest in the other person’s perspectives are key components of successful small talk.

By consistently putting these tips into action, you’ll become more comfortable and confident in your ability to make meaningful connections that can contribute to the growth and success of your small business.

If you would like to discuss strategies to grow your business, let’s talk:

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