The 2015 Golf & Tennis Challenge is fast approaching. In addition to the fun and sun, and the sporting activities and relaxing, there will be ample time and opportunity to network and reconnect. You will surely see some people you haven’t seen since last Labor Day. Have you brushed up on your networking techniques? Here are some pointers.
LinkedIn or email
If you know you’re going to meet an old friend or acquaintance at a social event, why not shoot them a message on LinkedIn or in an email. Let them know you’re going to be at the event as well and that you’re looking forward to seeing them again. Giving a heads up prior to getting together helps set the social stage and eliminate any awkwardness when both parties actually meet.
Follow them on social media
Maybe you’re not comfortable sending a personal message to someone you only know casually. You can always opt for a less aggressive approach such as following them on social media. Even though, it’s not direct contact, this will grab his or her attention if they’re active on social media. That way, when you see them, you can create a conversation about something they posted on social media. A word of caution, however. Keep the conversation to something recent as opposed to a picture or comment they posted five years ago. That just makes you look like a stalker.
Mention a significant memory you have about them
You ran into an acquaintance and said hello, and asked how they were, and told them how good it is to see them again. Then comes that uncertain pause and awkwardness starts to creep in. To ease this situation, you can bring up a fond memory you have or a distinctive characteristic you remember about the person. Talk about an achievement you know they’ve attained. People love it when you remember something positive they’ve done. Another tactic is to mention someone you both know. Ask if they’ve seen or spoken to that person lately, or if they know whether that person is coming to the event.
Compliment something they’re wearing
A good way to start a conversation is by making a positive statement, such as complimenting someone on an attractive article of clothing they’re wearing. Tell the person that they look great and ask them where they got the item. People enjoy unexpected, unsolicited compliments and small talk breaks barriers, which can lead to a deeper conversation.
–written by Jia Lim
The Black Enterprise Golf & Tennis Challenge is taking place this Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3-6, 2015 at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Register today and use code Labor Day to get $100 off all packages!