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Is Schmoozing In Business Still A Thing?

Schmoozing can be described as the art of charming, buttering up, or sweet-talking someone to achieve a desired outcome. It’s like flirting, but instead of trying to win a date, you’re trying to win a business deal or a favor.


Schmoozing a client is often seen as a dubious practice in the business world, with images of slimy salespeople or politicians ingratiating themselves to get what they want. However, there are certain situations where schmoozing a client is not only acceptable but downright necessary.


Let’s take a look at some scenarios where schmoozing can be a valuable tool:

Building a Relationship - Schmoozing a client can be a great way to build a personal connection with them. By getting to know them on a personal level, you can understand their needs and preferences better. You can also establish trust and loyalty, which can lead to long-term business relationships.


Closing a Deal - Sometimes, a little bit of schmoozing can help seal the deal. When negotiating with a client, showing a genuine interest in their business and their needs can help build rapport and make them more willing to work with you.


Networking - Schmoozing can also be a valuable networking tool. Attending events and conferences where potential clients are present can provide an opportunity to connect with them and form new business relationships.


Of course, it’s important to remember that there is a fine line between genuine relationship-building and insincere flattery. Schmoozing should never involve lying or misleading a client, and it’s important to remain professional and respectful at all times.



 

When does schmoozing turn from charming to alarming?


Well, it’s when schmoozers start treating conversations like a one-way street and try to forcefully extract information or favors from others. Nobody wants to feel like a pressure cooker or be taken advantage of. That’s not just impolite, it’s also a surefire way to make people avoid you like the plague.

My schmoozing strategy? Keep it bright and breezy!

And “Don’t be an aSShole.”

Perhaps a bit crass, but it sums up the idea nicely. Schmoozing is meant to be a positive thing; if all involved parties don’t walk away happy from the interaction, then it isn’t being done correctly.



 

Ditch the ego

Your ego may be great for pumping you up before a big game, but when it comes to meeting new people, it’s more of a liability than an asset. Your ego can turn you into a self-absorbed, dismissive, or downright unpleasant conversation partner, and no one wants to be around that.


 

Check your Body Language

Did you know that words only account for a measly 7% of all successful human communication? That’s right, the real action happens in your body language. What this means for you?


No crossing your arms, leaning away, or hiding behind your hands. These are all major no-nos that scream “I’m not interested” or “I’m hiding something.” Make eye contact, and show off those pearly whites. Your body language is like your personal hype woman or man.



 

Smile (like you really mean it)

Once you’ve positioned yourself in an open posture and made eye contact, it’s time to slowly unleash that pearly white grin. Think of your smile like a dam holding back a rushing river — start with a trickle, then let the floodgates open and unleash your kindness and warmth on your conversation partner.


As you open your mouth, make sure to maintain eye contact and intensify your gaze like you’re seeing a long-lost friend or a very cute golden retriever. We’re talking eye contact that could melt steel beams.

 

Listen & Talk (Listen more than talk)

Though you may be the first person to talk in the conversation, a great schmoozer will always let the other participant(s) of a conversation do the majority of the talking.



Be sure to:

Mention their name frequently Provide feedback and ask for clarification if needed. Never interrupt or deviate from the subject Keep every question you ask open-ended and collaborative

 

The key to schmoozing is NOT being the most physically attractive or intellectually gifted. Sorry to burst your bubble, but your dazzling good looks and Mensa-level IQ won’t necessarily win you any favors.


Instead, the real key to schmoozing lies in your ability to connect with people and make them feel valued. It’s not about being the star of the show, but rather about making others feel like they are the star. So, forget about being the smartest or most interesting person in the room, and focus on being the most engaging and empathetic. That’s how you’ll really win hearts and minds.


By the way introverts will have no issues leaving their ego at the door or actively listening. Extroverts on the other hand, tend to be the exact opposite, with egos that can overshadow a conversation, alienating the very people they’re trying to “schmooze”


Leads me to my next question — are introverts better schmoozers?



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