When it comes to networking, it’s often a rule of thumb to be strategic and ultimately start within your industry or circle. But some prime opportunities can come about by connecting with a total stranger.
You may not want to take that leap of approaching a stranger, with the fear that either you’ll be seen as some threatening weirdo or you’ll be met with a spray of Mace. But, Brazen Careerist gives key tips on why it’s important to consider the value of breaking the ice with a stranger and how you can successfully do so:
1. Be aware of the other person’s openness (or lack thereof). If someone has their headphones on as they hunch over their laptop, chances are they’re not open to a sudden chat-up. If, however, you catch someone’s glance and she gives you a friendly smile, she’s probably okay with being approached.
2. Use contextual topics for your introduction. Did the person in front of you just order your favorite sandwich from this cafÃ©? Is the line for the plane you’re boarding taking longer than usual? People are more likely to strike up a conversation with a stranger if that stranger mentions something they’re both experiencing in the moment. It feels a lot less threatening than “Hi! My name is Tom!!! What’sÂ your name?â€
Read more atÂ Brazen Careerist…