For fourteen years, I’ve be teaching people how to make business connections at events where they don’t know anyone. A successful method that works is going over to people who are either “wall-hangers” or “seat-covers” to start a conversation.
“Wall-hangers” are those who lean against the wall to watch what is going on. They usually stand with their arms crossed and close to an exit. The “Seat-Covers” are a bit braver. They are a little closer to the action. If you look closely, they have a foot pointing to a door. They are ready to bolt too.
However, both types can become positive and productive “connection-partners” at an event. How?
After sharing a wall or a table with either of them for a few minutes and mirroring their body language; it’s easy to start a conversation. Making a nice comment about the place where the event is being held is a safe opener. Follow this with a self-introduction and a statement why you are at the event. Usually, the person will tell you their story. Thus begins a friendly conversation. If they are there on business too, it’s a good time to invite them to join you in going out into the crowd to make connections.
This is where their eyes widen, stand up straight or sit up taller. To put them at ease, quickly share that the two of you could introduce one another. Watch the shoulders relax as the thought of being introduced is so much easier than introducing themselves.
Over 87 percent of the time, the individual will join you. In fact, I’ve personally experienced it where a few new connection-partners gain so much confidence that they started dragging me to circles of people to be introduced. It’s a joy seeing a wildflower blossom.
Have you ever been in a situation where you were a “wall-hanger” or “seat-cover?” I have. Deep in my heart, I wanted someone to come and recue me by taking time to notice and talk to me. God has often answered my prayers when I asked for someone to come and befriend me. When were you an answer to some lonely soul’s prayer?
The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth. ~ Psalm 145:18