Get to know a lot of people. Get to know a lot of people because some of them can be incredibly interesting. If you ran into somebody super interesting, what would you do? Would you let the opportunity pass you by? Since meeting quite a few crazy people, I’ve learned what to do: Get their contact info. If there’s somebody who’s really cool, get their contact info. Keep in mind that contact info doesn’t always mean a phone number. There are several others, also: Social websites like Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, email, Meetup. I will talk about each of these, as well as phone numbers, tell you the best ways to get them, and what to do after you’ve successfully gotten somebody’s information.

Phone numbers are direct, convenient and personal

The thing about phone numbers is that you have to know when it’s appropriate to ask for one. For example, I went to a preview screening of a new movie to be released. I sat next to a couple of guys and we sat back laughing and making jokes. Would it have been appropriate for me, as a man, to be asking another man for his phone number? Probably not. For one, homophobia seems to be considered a positive trait nowadays. For two, phone numbers represent a commitment to us. In order to feel comfortable giving out a phone number, we need to have known the person for a long enough time to see if the they agree with us.

An example of a better time to get a phone number would be after meeting somebody (notice the gender neutrality) at an English pub party and over the course of the night, having a crazy time with them. The party was finished and we were all heading out. We both were walking back and having talking, so as we get to the car and have to leave, I get a phone number.

This is a good example because it demonstrates a good enough length of time, it shows the best time to do so, and was totally awesome.

All good so far? Next up is the actual asking. Prepare for this, because the ease of this technique is astounding. Step one: Whip out your phone or pen/paper. Step two: Say any variation of the following in a friendly way, “Hey, give me your phone number.” Step three: Success. Most people think the actual asking is what’s important. What you say, how you say it, etc. But from experience, 90% of it is setup.

Online social sites are perfect for keeping in touch with ease

Off the top of my head, I know of Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, and traditional email. As my public speaking instructor always told me: keep your audience in mind. Myspace caters more to the teenage high school crowd. Facebook is used commonly for college kids and young adults. Twitter is becoming popular for some people, especially in the IT field, and email is used by everybody. Using these Internet things are nowadays extremely convenient and handy for keeping in touch quickly. You can avoid the connotations and commitment associated with phones.

You have to understand what they are good for and what they are not good for. It’s very difficult to build up a relationship with somebody online. For one it’s not easy to trust somebody who you’ve mostly talked to with online. For two, the format of the online methods (with email being a possible exception) do not allow for the body language, tonality, and other non verbal communication that normally allows trust to be built.

Is that all?

That’s it. You see, 90% of success here is preparation. Don’t ever get caught up in the wording of what you say, only focus on having good social skills and people will expect it. You will get to know a lot of interesting people.

Alex Elkholy has had to learn to overcome a multitude of problems in his life, including having to learn social skills from scratch. Because of this, he has a unique insight into the way we act and behave, as well as views on how better to deal with situations. He currently writes on his website, Alexelkholy.com.

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