Regardless of the community, group, or event, there always seems to be someone who meets just the right people at just the right time.  While others spend years attending events hoping to meet someone, these seemingly chosen few find it easy to connect and grow their network (and their business).  Why?

Here are seven simple steps to become more like those “chosen few”.

First.  Remember that you are not there to sell anything right now.  Everyone has come to the event or group with the desire to grow their business.  And that is why so many people fail to connect.  Since everyone expects everyone else to be selling, they naturally put up their protective wall.  It’s hard to connect with people through a wall.

Second:  Remember that everyone is thinking about themselves most of the time.  You must be aware that people love to hear their own name and things about them.  That’s why so many people verbally vomit all over others when they meet them.  It’s not because they think others want to hear about them, it’s because they want to hear about themselves.

Third:  Smile!  It’s proven that smiling, seemingly happy people are more attractive to us than people who do not smile.  People who smile more are more successful.  The simple act of smiling can make you happier.  What’s more, smiling leaves evidence on your face in “smiling lines” that make you appear to be smiling even when you are not.  Smiling tells others that you are warm and inviting, and most of all, fun!

Fourth:  Seek to meet people.  Here’s a secret:  Everyone is scared just like you.  It’s natural to be apprehensive when in a crowd of strangers.  When you take the first step and engage others in conversation, you will subliminally be easing the pain that the other person is experiencing.  Everyone is there to meet people.  You should make it easy for others to meet you by taking the first step.

Fifth:  Have a warm handshake, literally and figuratively.  If your hands are cold, rub them together to warm them up.  Shake hands with people being sure to get a good web-to-web grip.  See my previous article “Success in Sales and in Life Depends on a Great Handshake” to learn how to do this.

Sixth:  Ask questions that show a genuine interest in the other person.  One great example is, “how did you get into the work that you are in right now?”  Asking questions that go beyond what you do and how you do it will go a long way to building rapport and that leads to a better connection.

Seventh:  Ask for their business card.  When you get their card write down a few notes to remind you about the conversation.  Be sure to ask the Million Dollar Question: “As I meet people, how will I know a perfect referral for you?”  Write this down and then follow up with a phone call or note.

Every group has the chosen few who seem to have the inside track.  They know everyone and everyone knows them.  Meeting new people comes naturally for them.  Follow these seven steps and you will soon be among the chosen few who meet all the right people at just the right time.