Finding Common Interests: Power Networking Tips & Techniques

Finding Common Interests: Power Networking Tips & Techniques by Rae Stonehouse, Okanagan-based Author, Speaker, Speech/Presentations Coach, Power Networker & Toastmaster Extraordinaire. Meeting somebody for the first time as in a networking situation can often leave you stuck for words. Your counterpart delivers their elevator pitch and then as they pause to catch their breath they utter “so what do you do?” You go on to deliver your well rehearsed pitch for your business. But did the two of you really communicate?

Communication is a two way process. While the other person is sharing their story, you need to be listening closely to them. This isn’t the time to be practicing your own story in your head. This is the time to listen. Imagine that there will be a test after your partner delivers their personal story. Besides trying to figure out what their business is about, you should be listening for statements or beliefs that are similar to yours. Perhaps you have had similar experiences as they have described.

Research has shown that people like to do business with people that are similar to themselves. It is also often said that people will do business with friends before strangers. So how do you rapidly turn an impromptu exchange of elevator pitches into a “best buddies” scenario?

Well, sometimes it does happen by accident. You will meet somebody and very rapidly find that you hit it off as the saying goes. If you are a law of attraction follower, you would say that you are resonating. You are on the same wave length. But more often than naught it doesn’t go that way and can be awkward at best.

The solution lays in you taking charge of the conversation. By charge, I don’t mean to take control and dominate it at the others expense. I mean to be proactive and direct the conversation in the way that you want it to go. Research has also shown that people respond well when you ask them questions about something that they have just said, asking them to expand upon a point perhaps. The usual questions of who, how, why, when and where can be used to elicit further info effectively as long as you don’t come across as giving them the third degree. “Where were you on the night of …? Can anybody vouch for your whereabouts” may not be the way to win friends and influence people.

Asking more questions of the person is also a highly recommended traditional sales communication method i.e. that you use the information that you have just gathered to tailor your sales pitch for the individual. While that may be okay if you are actually in a sales situation I wouldn’t recommend it in first-contact networking encounter. As I said most people will respond well to probing questions as long as they feel that you are eager to learn more from them. You will know fairly quickly if you are dealing with a paranoid individual. They are out there.

Once you determine whether you have common interests, don’t forget to talk about the possibility of doing business together or helping each other with referrals.

Who knows, you may start off business networking and end up with a new best friend.



Rae Stonehouse

Author Bio:

Rae A. Stonehouse is a Canadian born author & speaker. His professional career as a Registered Nurse working predominantly in psychiatry/mental health, has spanned four decades.

Rae has embraced the principal of CANI (Constant and Never-ending Improvement) as promoted by thought leaders such as Tony Robbins and brings that philosophy to each of his publications and presentations.

Rae has dedicated the latter segment of his journey through life to overcoming his personal inhibitions. As a 20+ year member of Toastmasters International he has systematically built his self-confidence and communicating ability. He is passionate about sharing his lessons with his readers and listeners. His publications thus far are of the self-help, self-improvement genre and systematically offer valuable sage advice on a specific topic.

His writing style can be described as being conversational. As an author Rae strives to have a one-to-one conversation with each of his readers, very much like having your own personal self-development coach. Rae is known for having a wry sense of humour that features in his publications.

Author of Self-Help Downloadable E-Books:

Power Networking for Shy PeoplePower Networking for Shy People: Tips & Techniques for Moving from Shy to Sly!

PROtect Yourself!PROtect Yourself! Empowering Tips & Techniques for Personal Safety: A Practical Violence Prevention Manual for Healthcare Workers.

E=Emcee SquaredE=Emcee SquaredTips & Techniques to Becoming a Dynamic Master of Ceremonies.

Power of PromotionPower of Promotion: On-line Marketing for Toastmasters Club Growth


Phone Rae 250-451-6564 or

Rae’s social … are you?


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Copyright 2016 Rae Stonehouse. The above document may be freely copied and distributed as long as the author’s name and contact info remain attached.

To learn more about Rae A. Stonehouse, visit the Wonderful World of Rae Stonehouse at http://raestonehouse.com

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