Networking: How To Win People Over During Conversation

Networking: How To Win People Over During Conversation

Yeah, this topic is so fun to talk about. I don't know what it is about "networking" that I'm so fascinated about. Maybe it's the excitement of meeting new people. Or the unpredictability of how great or terrible an interaction might go. Either way, it's a very interesting topic to dissect.
I'm sure you've heard the popular saying "your net-worth is based on your network". That saying is actually super-duper true, especially in the entrepreneur-do-it-yourself world (and abundantly true in the music industry). The base model for this structure is the idea that the more people you know, the more successful you will become.
So we must ask ourselves: How do we meet people, and what are some of the things we can do to nurture long lasting relationships? Let's take a closer look at this..
I've met a lot of people. Let me re-phrase that. I've met a SH*T TON of people. Too many to count. Too many to recall. Tens (if not, hundreds) of thousands of conversations and interactions, each unique in their own right. Some of those conversations turned into call-backs. Others were one-and-done. Some of these people I've never seen or heard from ever again. A small handful of them turned into long lasting friendships. The possibilities and outcomes are endless when it comes to interacting with other human beings.
The first place to look is within'. Really be honest with yourself and think about the last, say, 3 conversations you've had with strangers. Were they great? Were they long conversations? Short conversations? Did they feel awkward? Did you feel empowered after those interactions? Why do you think those conversations went well, or not so well? 
Confidence is key.
Let me re-phrase that.
Confidence is F*CK!NG KEY! (ok I promise that was my last re-phrase).
You're either confident, or not confident. Or, you're sort of sometimes confident. Whichever you are at this current moment, just know that the more confident you are in yourself, the better your chances of winning people over during a conversation. People love confident energy. It's inspiring. It feels good to be around. Being confident feels good. It exhumes positivity. It's contagious. Believe it or not, you can boost someone else's confidence by expressing confident energy in yourself. Hold your shoulders up during conversation. Express your words with diction. Believe everything you say and hold those words dear to you. Enjoy talking about whatever it is you're talking about. Don't look down. Look into the person's eyes. BE interested. If you're not interested, TRY to be interested. Ask questions. Let the other person speak, and don't interrupt them. REALLY listen to them, genuinely. Don't converse with the purpose of replying. You shouldn't be thinking of what to reply with while the other person is speaking. It's rude. It's selfish. Be selfless during conversation and confident in your words. The other person is bound to appreciate that energy. And most important of all, try to enjoy the conversation you are having. Enthusiasm is an amazing state of mind to be in to ensure a healthy conversation.
Unfortunately, the same is true for the opposite. Self doubt is just as contagious. Anger and hostility will force the other person to act angry and hostile towards you. Nervousness will make the other person nervous too, which doesn't feel good. If the other person doesn't feel good, the conversation is bound to be a disaster. Desperation is also a no-no. Don't seem too desperate. That type of energy will turn the other person all the way off. If you're not looking into the other person's eyes, you're not really present. If you're not present, why should the other person speak to you, or care about what you are saying to him/her?
So, what are some things we've realized in all of this?
Well, it's that YOU (yes, you) have the power to control the actions and attitudes of others by your own actions and attitudes. 
If you lack confidence, cultivate a habit of "acting" with confidence. Practice doing it. Hold your head and shoulders up. Look the other person in the eyes while they speak. Listen with intent. Walk with a confident step. Fake it 'till you make it. In other words, act with confidence until you ACTUALLY START TO FEEL CONFIDENT. 
Use positive words during conversation. Don't talk negatively about people. Avoid bringing up negative subjects. 
Take initiative to set the tone of the conversation. If you start off formal, the tone for the rest of the conversation will be formal. If you start off friendly, the tone for the rest of the conversation will be friendly.
Act confident, and the other person will have confidence in you.
It's the only way. It doesn't matter who it is. Most of the time, it's not about your talent or your art, or your knowledge, or how good looking you are (well, that does help, I must say so myself). These things are a PLUS, but they come after confidence. Oh and guess what? If you're really good at what you do (and you know you are), you're likely to be confident in yourself anyway. 
Act confident, and the other person will have confidence in you.
Trying to win a client over? Act confident.
Playing your music for an executive or an A&R? Act confident.
Confidence works.
Every time.
It never fails.
Meet 100 people confidently, and I'm sure at least ONE of those conversations will manifest into something special for you in the future.
- !llmind
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