Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Don't Blow It at Your Next Networking Event

Networking opportunities are endless, but many people make several classic mistakes when they attend business events. What can you do to avoid common mistakes when networking and make your time pay off?  

Look below for what NOT to do and how to turn a networking "Oops, I did it again" into a profitable business conversation.

Mistake #1 - Incorrect networking goal: "I want to make a sale."  
Correction:  Networking is a marketing opportunity, not a sales presentation.

Mistake #2 – Waiting for others to approach you. "I don’t know how to break the ice."
Correction:  Be the first to say hello and start conversations centered on the event you are attending.

Mistake #3 – Huddling with your colleagues: "I’m comfortable talking to people I know."
Correction:  Mingling with strangers shows your are confident and want to make new contacts.

Mistake #4 – Not remembering a person’s name. "Why bother? I’ll never see him or her again.”
Correction:  Using a person’s name creates a positive impression and builds rapport.

Mistake #5 – Avoiding small talk: "Small talk is a waste of time."
Correction:  Casual conversation allows you to quickly and informally exchange information that leads to hidden business opportunities.

Mistake #6 – Talking too much about yourself: "Let me tell you all the great things I do."
Correction:  Asking about the other person’s business or industry issues before discussing yourself allows you to position yourself as a problem-solver and resource.

Mistake #7 – Being a “know-it-all”: "I’m right – your wrong."
Correction:  Seek the views of others to find areas of agreement.

Mistake #8 – Being too quiet. "I’m afraid I’ll be boring."
Correction:  Reveal enough information about yourself so others  will know what you are willing to talk about.

Mistake #9 - End an encounter after a moment of silence or a negative comment. "Ah, nice meeting you. Bye." 
Correction: End all your conversations on a positive note by using the person’s name and repeating something he or she said that you found interesting, helpful or insightful.

Mistake #10 - No follow-up: "Why contact someone who can’t help me?"
Correction: Maintaining contact after an initial meeting allows the business relationship to develop and flourish over time.

Now that you know what to do, learn how to build rapport with everyone you meet at networking events -- FAST! 

Get Chapter 1 FREE from Don's book, Turn Small Talk Into Big Deals: Using 4 Key Conversation Styles To Customize Your Networking Approach, Build Relationships, And Win More Clients  

For a FREE PDF Download: Chapter 1: “What’s Your Networking Style?"  

For more information about how Don Gabor can speak at your upcoming meeting please contact him at 718-768-0824 or  

Don Gabor Conversation Arts Media 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

FREE Ebook! Intimate Conversations: How to Talk to the People You Love -- My February Gift to You


     “Hey, didn’t I see you on the cover of Cosmo?” "Are you a model?" or "Didn't we meet on a (nude) beach?" How many times have you heard (or said) corny opening lines like these? No question about it, they show chutzpa, but do they really impress others?

“Probably not,” says Don Gabor, the author of HOW TO START A CONVERSATION AND MAKE FRIENDS. According to Don, “Studies show that over 70% of face-to-face communication is non-verbal and your body language speaks before you do. So be sure to send the right kinds of silent signals before you open your mouth.”

Here are four easy ways to attract others without words:
1.      Make eye contact – This is usually the first non-verbal signal that shows interest. Hold the person’s gaze for a few extra seconds, but don’t stare.
2.      Give a gentle smile – This is the second non-verbal signal that says you are friendly. No Cheshire cat grins, please!
3.      Keep your arms unfolded – This non-defensive posture shows that you are receptive and open to contact.
4.      Make your approach – Moving within 3 – 5 feet of the other person shows confidence and a desire to make contact.

Then the next steps are to:
·         Break the ice naturally based on your surroundings.
·         Get the other person talking with an easy-to-answer question.
·         Build instant rapport and trust by exchanging background information.
·         Introduce yourself and make a connection by identifying common interests.
What's the trick to attracting people? Don suggests, "Show interest in others in a positive way. People get nervous when they talk to others they find attractive because they think they need to say something clever. The trick is not to try to impress but instead to send verbal and non-verbal messages that say you think the other person is the impressive one. People like and are attracted to others who appear to like them.” 

For a FREE copy of my e-book, Intimate Conversations: How to Talk to the People You Love 

Click here:

For more information about how Don Gabor can speak at your upcoming meeting please contact him at 718-768-0824 or  

Don Gabor Conversation Arts Media 

Friday, December 13, 2013

My holiday gift to you...a FREE e-book, PLANE-TALK: NETWORKING AT 30,000 FEET


  Use the Time You Spend on the Plane to Network 


For a FREE copy of my new e-book, Plane-Talk: Networking at 30,000 Feet go to


Click on the peel in the upper right hand corner. Fill in your name and email address. Choose your format: MOBI, EPUB or PDF and you can download the copy. It's my holiday gift to you!


If you are like a lot of people this time of the year you will spend time in airports and on airplanes. But you can turn high-flying travel time into a goldmine for meeting new people and making valuable additions to your professional network. Here’s how:

When you first to board the plane take this opportunity to set a friendly tone with the passengers seated around you. Say hello to your neighbors as soon as they “move in.” This is an easy way to break the ice and establish how receptive they may be to conversation. If your seatmate cracks open a book or pulls out some work, be patient. Chances are, you’ll have an opportunity to chat later on in the flight.

If you get the green light to gab from the person, open the conversation with small talk. I often ask, “What takes you to …?” If I get a positive response I pursue it further.

For example, on a recent flight I said “Hello” to the passenger seated next to me and added, “I’m happy to be heading home! Which way are you going—home or away?” Her smile and friendly response, “I’m traveling for business,” was all I needed to continue the conversation. “What kind of business are you in?” I asked. She said, “Selling stuff but my real passion is mentoring girls and young women for scholarship pageants.” After I learned that the contestants have to make short speeches I said, “I’m a professional speaker. Maybe I can help your contestants.”

Through the course of our conversation, born from a simple “Hello,” we each made a business contact and expanded our professional network.

Here are some more tips for networking when you're on an airplane:


  • Say “Hello” to your seatmates right away.
  • Show an interest in where they are going and who they are.

  • Keep your conversation light—don’t try to push a business-related conversation until you know that he or she shares your business interests.
  • Be patient and respectful if your seatmate appears busy or not interested in chatting.

  • If you do share a business interest, introduce yourself and offer to exchange business cards.
  • Keep your voices low. It never hurts to be even more courteous than usual—extra manners go a long way in tight spaces!
  • Follow-up within a week via email, telephone or social media.

You never know who you are seated next to on an airplane until you start a conversation. Of course, every situation is unique and judgment plays a large role when you network at 30,000 feet. Some passengers plan certain tasks to do while they are in the air, and it would be rude to disturb them. But if you’re looking to network with other professionals there are few other places with a more diverse collection of business people than on an airplane...all waiting for you to say “Hello”!

For a FREE copy of my new e-book, Plane-Talk: Networking at 30,000 Feet go to

For more information about how Don Gabor can speak at your upcoming meeting please contact him at 718-768-0824 or  

Don Gabor Conversation Arts Media