“Becoming well-known (at least among your prospects & connections) is the most valuable element in the connection process.”
For some people, the thought of networking makes them sweat. Not just a little perspiration on the brow, but clammy hands and nervous pacing of the hallway wondering if they can go into the room. It can be nerve-racking meeting new people and learning what to say. Reading about it is one thing – jumping in and introducing yourself to strangers takes courage. It can be a game changer for your business or your career goals.
Isn’t it time to take charge of your networking experience and take it to a new level? You need to take consistent action. Now with social media, people can follow you and see what you’re up to and then when they meet in person the “ice” is already broken so to speak. I was emceeing an event and one of the speakers came up and started speaking to me. It was like we were long-lost friends and then I mentioned to her that it was the first time we had met. She said, “No” in disbelief. “It feels like I already know you.” It was great as it reinforces congruency in my messaging on social media.”
You can supercharge your networking experience by:
Engaging and being social online platforms where your clients hang out this is Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn and maybe even SnapChat.
Ask your prospects or clients where they network or socialize and go spend some time there. Don’t limit your thinking to specific networking events. You have the ability to connect with people at the bank, grocery store, the gym, the opera, or a conference or fundraiser. Attend industry or trade association functions.
Arrange to speak at a business Association, Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, or even a group or club in your area. Public speaking gives you credibility and put you centre stage where people can get to know you. It positions you as an expert where you can build rapport and trust quickly. Put together 1 to 3 signature speaking topics so you can showcase your knowledge and promote yourself.
Once you have a speaking engagement, ensure that you get to your speaking engagement early so you can have the opportunity to meet some of the attendees. I find that doing this, it really calms the nerves as you already have gotten to know a few people and when you speak you feel like you’re speaking directly to them. They will be pleasantly surprised that you took the time to take interest in them. At the end of your talk, invite people to come and speak with you after the talk to continue building that connection. Remember handing out your business card to everyone is like playing blackjack and it’s not invited. Hand out your business card as you really connect with people so they will remember you.
Submit articles to industry magazines or online directories. This is another great way to showcase your talents and expertise to people can get to know you more.
Check out a variety of networking and association event in your area. Make a point of intentionally connecting with 2 to 3 new people. It is a habit to gravitate to the people you know. You do not expand your network by hanging out with the same people all the time. Pick times to meet up and you may even choose to introduce who in each of you has mapped to each other. On average each person knows 250 people and each of those 250 people knows at least another 250 people- this is how your network expands.
“Networking is not a part-time or occasional exercise. Everywhere we go, we have an opportunity to network with others.”
―Timothy M. Houston
Networking can also take place on online forums, webinars, and podcasts. The sky is the limit. Make a list of networking events for the next one to two months. Ensure you have business cards. Smile! Be friendly and initiate conversation. Create strong solid connections by discovering what you may have in common with another person and find out what matters to them. Take a genuine interest in who they are and what they do. Think of ways that you may able to help support them. And don’t forget most importantly follow-up with the connections you make within the next 24 to 48 hours of the meeting. If you don’t follow up, you are not intentionally networking you are out for the social event and you could be leaving a lot of money on the table. Not only that you could be missing out on truly amazing relationships that make your life rich from the inside out.
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DEBRA KASOWSKI, BScN CEC is an award-winning best-selling author, transformational speaker, blogger, and Certified Executive Coach. She has a heart of a teacher and is certified in Appreciative Inquiry and Emotional Intelligence. Her writing has been published in a variety of print and online magazines. Debra Kasowski International helps executives, entrepreneurs, and organizations boost their productivity, performance, and profits. It all starts with people and passion. Sign up the Success Secrets Newsletter and get your free mp3 download today! www.debrakasowski.com
Time: 08:18 minutes