Networking comes to me very naturally. Being an only child, I have been putting myself in situations where I had to meet new people from a young age, to develop myself and my skills and meet interesting people. This has helped me make friends with some of the most wonderful people I could have ever imagined meeting!
Networking for your business is vital but people get it so badly wrong its painful to watch and be a part of! When you are out and about at networking events, there are some dos and don’ts, which I feel everybody should learn, because if you don’t, no matter how good you are, or how effective your product or service is, no one will care! Simply put, people don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care! So do what I tell you and stop doing the things I tell you not to do!
Top 10 Tips!
Here are my top 10 tips for networking effectively:
- If you can, print off the delegates list beforehand and look through it, highlighting who you would want to meet, find interesting or could have a referral for.
- Prepare yourself mentally, know what you can do for the other party, make it about them, get to know them, make them do 75% of the talking! People love talking about themselves so give people the confidence to do that, and their barriers will come down, they will relax and you will see the real person behind the business persona!
- Know your story, who you are, what the features, advantages and benefits of your business are, and keep your story as short and succinct as possible, because you want other people to do the talking as stipulated in point 2!
- Mind your body language! Body language is everything, and people are naturally attracted to and gravitate towards happy people! And that means do NOT fold your arms! Keep an open stance! And smile! Seriously! This makes such a difference when you are talking to people or looking for people to talk to!
- Genuinely show interest in other people, their personality and their business! You will never do business with people you don’t like! And vice versa!
- Follow Rudyard Kipling’s advice as follows: I Keep 6 honest serving-men: (They taught me all I knew), Their names are What and Where and When, And How and Why and Who. I would also add Which, so that makes 7! So prepare some key “W” open questions.
- Ask for their business card and then connect with them over LinkedIn and/or other social media platforms on the spot. I rarely carry business cards because I have social media apps on my phone to take care of such things!
- Look around for who is speaking to the biggest group. That person has influence. That person is a leader. Go and speak with them!
- Do NOT shove your business, business card or simply your agenda down other people’s throats! You will NOT make any friends or win any favours!
- Be yourself, be honest, have integrity, live and breathe your values, morals and ethics! If people don’t know you, they won’t like you, if they don’t like you, they won’t trust you, if they don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you or recommend others to buy from you!
PLEASE! Do NOT mess this up! It is so easy to get RIGHT but people get it so WRONG! Networking is NOT about you! Make it about others, and your time will come to shine! Trust me!
Let me know how you get on 🙂