Here are our top tips for managing those conversations with the eLoft IMPRESS model:
Idle chit chat - When you first meet with someone, take a few minutes to engage in some idle chit chat to get the conversation going, build rapport and a friendly tone for a great meeting.
Manage expectations – once you have settled in, check in with the other person to manage expectations regarding length of the meeting. For example, “I know we had scheduled 30 minutes for our meeting today, is this timing still good for you?”
Purpose/Reason for the meeting – Next, be sure to share with them the purpose or reason for the meeting. You likely shared this in your original message to them when you scheduled the meeting. For example, “As I mentioned to you in my email, I currently work as a Risk Analyst in the financial services industry. I know you have built your career in this field of work and I am interested in your advice as I begin exploring my options for growing my career.”
Explore – The majority of your time should be spent exploring and asking great questions. Come prepared with 6-10 questions you would like to ask the person you are meeting.
Summarize and ask 3 key wrap up questions - Leave 5 minutes at the end of your meeting to summarize and ask these 3 key questions.
“Are there 1-2 other people in your network you feel would be helpful for me to speak with based on my current career goals?”
“Would it be ok for me to keep in touch with you?” This question is especially helpful if you hope to keep in touch with them regarding future career opportunities they may become aware of. If they agree to keep in touch, be sure to make a note in your calendar when next to follow-up.
“I really appreciate your time today and would like to reciprocate. Is there anything I can do for you?” There may be something obvious based on your conversation such as sharing an article or connecting them to someone in your network but if not, this is a great question to ask.
Send a thank you message – Within 24 hours, send a thank you message to the person you networked with along with anyone who made the introduction. In addition, be sure to follow through on any commitments you made to them.
Good luck with charging up your networks for career success in 2020!
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