Do you go networking for sales opportunities, or are you ready to listen to people you meet on and offline?
Networking isn’t just face-to-face it’s online, email, dm’s and so much more. Ever since we developed ways to communicate we’ve networked, word of mouth is never going to be surpassed and never going to be put in a book or blog so that you can understand it either. Like many things in life we learn from experience.
So when do you know it’s beneficial and adding value?
It would be so easy to go along to an event expecting to get at least ten business cards and give out twenty or more. Is that really effective though? I’ve seen so many card dealers at network events and they’re always the people who work 24/7 and give 150% but don’t have time to enter the business details into a useable database or similar.
So rather than collect cards that really just go in the recycling bin we should have one thing in mind, to meet people [usually like minded] and listen to them. If you take this attitude then you will get a chance to tell people who you are and what you do too – show you care and they’ll show you they do too. Meeting people who are like-minded helps so much, why collect cards of people you have nothing in common with?
Remember; networking is about being you, but it’s not about you.
You don’t have to lie; you can be happy and can express your feelings about what you do both at work and at home. I don’t like meeting people who just work, as they don’t usually have a life or feel like they are alive but just working to get money to stop working. Much better are those who sing and dance and are animated and excited when talking about what they do.
Don’t worry you don’t have to be a performer, you just have to be you it’s the one thing nobody else can be both online and offline. I learned this from my favourite business coach Dr Seuss, you’ll get the best quotes from his books and have more fun and find things that you want to share in all his books.
Being you means you are far more likely to be remembered, trusted and talked about when someone mentions something that you’ve talked about. We share things about people we know, like and trust it’s not rocket science it natural human behaviour.
So be like you are at home, in the coffee shop or the boardroom – be someone who likes to listen and help people they meet. One thing we don’t know is the person we are going to meet next; as long as we listened to the people we have met we can share information with the new person.
There are no short cuts to building relationships and being part of a community. If it’s natural it lasts a lifetime and takes you to places you never thought of.
That for me is why I go networking on and offline.
Why not leave a comment about your networking experiences below?