Don’t be shy, look up from your phone! Yes, holiday season with all the client receptions and cocktail parties has shifted into high gear. And yet surprisingly, many salespeople dread the small talk. Sure you can sell, that’s business.

But why should “working a room” be different from any other sales skill?

You can read, learn up and practice how to expertly network this season.

And the holiday season isn’t even over yet! In case you missed Christopher Ware’s Camp Niche sales presentation in Washington D.C. recently, he gave attendees 6 quick tips to work a room with confidence.

  1. Trick Your Brain. Tell yourself you are the host of the event, even if you’re not. Circulate and meet as many people as possible. Connect people with similar interests.
  2. Think Small (Talk.) Don’t skip this important step. Read up on it and practice. Small talk gives the other person time to get comfortable with you and possibly establish a connection.
  3. Stock up. Small talk is the bait. To keep them interested, stock up your brain with at least 3 interesting things to talk about. For example, pick one about the industry, one funny pop-culture topic and one about tech or science. (You’ve just eliminated your stress on what to talk about.)
  4. Set goals. Why not set goals for networking events? “I’m going to make 5 contacts tonight.”
  5. Create your elevator pitch. Not necessarily a sales pitch, but be able to tell people about who you are and who you work for in a simple, quick way that’s memorable.
  6. Plan exit lines. Everyone needs to practice this when it’s time to move on. Here’s an example: “It was great chatting with you, I need to circulate but let’s stay in touch on the XYZ thing and here’s my card.” Or “Thanks for spending a few moments with me–I really enjoyed it!”

Finally, remember that people are there to meet other people. Barging in is ok. Chances are in a group of three or five there is at least one person who is being left out and would appreciate a conversation partner. Be their hero.

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More about Christopher: Christopher Ware is Founder & Inventor, Sales Tonic Media and is also the VP of Business Development for NAIOP, a national trade association. He is a niche media sales expert with 18+ years’ experience in selling print and digital advertising, event sponsorships, and exhibit space. Christopher has generated $20,000,000 in media sales for niche publications and events. He lives in Virginia with his wife of 18 years. He’s been to all 30 Major League Baseball parks, over 40 minor league parks, and hopes to one day see a game in every state.

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