How To Be A Brilliant Conversation Networker

Brilliant Conversation Networking“I spoke to a group about the Secrets of a Marketing Rainmaker on Wednesday. I used the write up about what it takes to be a stellar networker by being a brilliant conversationalist as one of my giveaways,” I said.

Chris asked, “Did you offer it as an incentive for filling out your feedback form like I’ve seen you do?

“Yes,’ I said, that is a trick I picked up from another professional speaker.”

Rob, the branding guru from Georgia, drawled, “Y’all know he does that right in the middle to shake ‘em up and make ‘em want that idear for their very own. It’s his way of gettin’ the dogs out from under the porch.”

“Fletch,” Kate asked, “Can you translate that?”

“Sure,” I said, “Rob’s idea of being a brilliant conversationalist is being the center of attention. For him, that works. For the really good networker there’s another way.”

“Oh?” Kate said.

“Yes,” I responded

The table went quiet. They were all looking at me.

I said, “Tell ‘em, Kate.”

Kate explained, “It’s a technique I came across in some sales training done by Xerox in the 90s, I think. What you do is:

  1. Ask an open ended question, one that can’t be answered with just a word or two.
  2. Shut up and listen.
  3. When they run down simply say Oh?”

“Oh? “ I said.

She went on, “They will keep adding information just about as long as you are willing to listen. The trick is to get them started.”

Rick dove in, “And the most common question in our culture is what do you do? And the best way to answer it is in Fletch’s 30 Second Marketing.”

“Give the man a gold star,” said Kate. “Anyone else have a question that works?”

Rick, our inveterate traveler, said, “I’ve got another one—If you could visit any place in the world, where would you go?”

“That works,” said Kate, “If you remember to say Oh?”

Gail piped up, “If you could have any technology to help you run our business, what would it be?”

“Sure,” said Kate. “Again, remember when they run down to say Oh?”

The takeaway: Ask an open-ended question and listen. When they run down just say “oh?” to learn more.

What question would you ask?

This blog recaps the luncheon conversations of a group of business development professionals. They discuss what’s new, what’s old, what’s good, bad and ugly but mostly what works. Jerry Fletcher is the ringleader and the one that writes up their comments.

Jerry Fletcher provides this kind of proven marketing advice to all his clients from across kitchen tables to corporate board rooms. See his answer to “What do you do” in the video on the home page of:

Jerry speaks on 30 Second Marketing, How to develop an unforgettable self introduction. See his story about Margie at

One thought on “How To Be A Brilliant Conversation Networker

  1. I wish that one day i can meet Jerry and listen his exciting and knowledgeable speech that i know i can learn and benefit in the future.

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