How to Turn a Conversation into a Friendship
You are at a social event.
You're having a great conversation with someone. Everything is clicking and you think just made a new best friend.
But then you go home and don’t hear from them again. They’ve disappeared from your life as if you’ve never met. Another potential friendship that never happened.
If this sounds familiar, then I’m here to help. I’m going to show you a 5 step process to turn a great first conversation into a genuine friendship.
I’m Andy the founder of Urban Adventure Club. We’re a social club in San Francisco that helps people try new activities, make new friends, and explore new places. I have made it my personal mission to help as many people make as many friends as I can. The advice I’m about to give comes from my 6+ years of building friendships.
Step 1: Connect Digitally
A great conversation is a good start, but you need a way to reach out to them to continue the connection. Don’t be shy and ask to exchange contact info before you end the conversation.
You can say something like “Hey Steve. This is a great chat and I would love to connect again. What’s the best way to reach you?” This is a low pressure method because you're allowing them to choose the method for reconnecting.
Get their number, email, or social media info so you can reach out later. Make sure to create a new contact in your phone so you won't forget their details.
Step 2: Reach out
It would be nice if everyone else made the first move and we can just wait. But the world doesn’t work like that and sometimes you have to make the first move. An easy way to do that is to set a default for yourself to always reach out first.
After you’ve exchanged contact info with someone, reach out to them in the next couple of days. Keep it short and simple. Just let them know that you enjoyed the interaction and you look forward to connecting again.
Write something like “Hey Steve, this is Andy from the networking meeting last Friday. It was fun to chat with you about _____. I thought you would enjoy this article. Cheers!”
The goal here isn’t to create a friendship over text. The goal is to simply keep the connection open.
A warning here is to not over text. The last thing anyone wants is to get bombarded with messages from someone they just met. Give them the space and time they need to respond to your messages. If they don’t respond, it’s very likely they are just busy and have other things going on.
Don’t be clingy.
Step 3: Invite Them Out
A friendship is built over time and shared experiences. You need to build on the first experience with other positive experiences.
Don’t invite them to hangout one-on-one right away. That’s too high of an ask for most people to accept. Go with something more appropriate to your stage of friendship and how you met.
If you met at a networking event, then invite them to join a similar one. If you met on a bar crawl, then invite them to join a similar event. It’s always easier to invite them to a group event because there’s less pressure and there are other reasons for them to join.
After you send the invite, you should also let them know that you’re open to invitations. Just say something like “If you’re ever going to another fun networking event, please let me know!”
Step 4: Offer Value
You know why you want them to be your friend, but you should also ask why they would want you to be their friend.
Everyone is busy nowadays and people value their free time. Think about why someone would make time for you in their lives. Do you share a hobby you can enjoy together? Do you have knowledge or expertise they share? Do you work somewhere they want to work at?
Find ways to add value to your new friend’s life, and give them reasons for wanting to see you again.
Step 5: Repeat the Process
Not every person you have a good conversation with will become your friend. Some people just aren’t looking for new friends and other people are too busy with their careers and lives.
You will need to make many attempts before you find someone who is a good match for you. So give yourself time and don't give up.
Also, don’t rush into friendships. You won’t really get to know someone until you’ve seen them a few times and in different situations. You don’t want to end up on a 5 day trip with a new friend only to find out they are a nightmare to travel with.
In summary, here are the 5 steps to turn a conversation into a friendship:
If you’ve found this post to be helpful, then please share it. My personal mission is to help as many people make as many friends as I can. If you happen to live in the Bay Area and want to make new friends, then check us out at Urbanadventureclub.com.
Thank you for reading, and adventure on my friends.