A Simple Guide to Successful Networking
Everyone knows that building a tribe you can trust is essential to growing a successful business. Jim Rohn said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” It should be our main priority as SBA’s to surround ourselves with people that will build us up and never let our clients down. But, how do we find them? Networking.
According to Merriam-Webster, “Networking is the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.” This process can be intimidating for someone who’s never been exposed to the social etiquettes of Network Marketing. So, if you are new to the world or maybe just desire to sharpen up your skill, please see below our Simple Guide to Successful Networking.
Do Some Research
Before adding an event to your calendar, do some research. Will the members of your tribe be there? Is your target market present? Will you be able to add value to the attendees? Is it something you’re interested in? If you don’t have some connection to the event, you will not find your tribe there either. If you are in the
“In the beginning, I was a professional networker. I would go to multiple events a day and would feel totally out of place. I learned to research them ahead of time and find events where the other guests and I had something in common.” – Anonymous.
Focus on what you can bring to the group, not what you can get out of it. Look for ways to connect people. Add value. Ask good questions and the benefits will naturally follow.
“Don’t try to sell me anything… especially if I haven’t given you any buying signals! That’s like asking someone to marry you when you’ve just met”. -anonymous.
“Don’t ever try to recruit people to join your team, especially by overselling income potentials. Its offensive. I’m here to build long term relationships with likeminded people that I can grow with. Not hear about how much money I ‘could’ be making on your team.”- Anonymous.
Offer to Lend a Hand
If you know the host, reach out ahead of time and ask if you can bring anything or help in any way. Maybe you can provide notepads if it’s a seminar, or snacks for a social gathering. It’s one way to get more involved in the event and is an excellent ice breaker.
“I once donated these goofy pens for a Ted Talk that had over 2,000 participants. At the beginning of the event, the host personally thanked me in front of all the participants. People were flocking up to me to talk about my pens. I make many wonderful connections that day. It was awesome.”-Anonymous.
Share the event on social media platforms and personally invite friends. Not only will you be a Rockstar for supporting your host, but it will also give you the opportunity to support your tribe by making warm introductions on the spot.
“I am a little introverted and struggle with self-promotion. I invite Ali to each of the events I plan on attending. She is a social butterfly and each time she attends, she knows someone there to introduce me to.”-Anonymous.
Take pictures or live video’s (with permission). Tag friends and check-in on Facebook. Make sure to mention how beautiful the venue is, the amazing people, the vibes, etc…
Get to Know New People
“Don’t spend networking events attached to the people you know.” – Stephanie Nissen, Atomic Revenue, www.StephNissen.com.
Absolutely greet friends and make introductions but try to limit conversations to 5 minutes. When standing in a group or in a pair, angle your body so that you are opening the circle to invite other in to join you” Remember giver’s gain. You are here to find people you can support. Ask questions. Find out their “Why” or what things you have in common.
“When someone asks you what you do, don’t ‘throw up’ on someone when they ask what you do! Your answer should be short, sweet and leave people curious and intrigued.” – Anonymous.
There is a school of thought that millennials are doing away with the traditional style business cards and are opting for more efficient and eco-friendly alternatives. With social media and cards sharing apps, connecting has never been easier. Either way, don’t force yourself onto someone. Ask them good questions and wait fir them to do the same. You’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s ok.
“Don’t hand your business card over when you introduce yourself-wait for someone to ask for it… Don’t force your card into someone’s hand” -Stephanie Nissen, Atomic Revenue, www.StephNissen.com.
Don’t Drink Too Much.
No further explanation necessary. I have been to networking events where people have danced on tables, made out with people they just met, etc… not pretty. Don’t do that.
“I once went to an event where a young lady drank a few too many. She was dancing around the room, slurring, and tripped a few times. Then she got in her car and drove home. She was a Property and Casualty agent I was introduced to by a mutual friend. I chose not to do business with her because of that night.”-Anonymous.
Follow-up immediately while you are still fresh in your acquaintances’ minds. Rule of thumb is to follow-up within a few hours. 24 at the most. For the people you talked to and want to further the conversation, send them a message that says something along the lines of “HI! It was great talking with you on Wednesday at Business Leaders R US. I’d love to schedule a time to chat so I can learn more about your business and ways I can support you. Does Tuesday at 2:00pm work for you?”
IF there was someone you met but didn’t vibe with or maybe is a direct competitor, that is ok. Still follow-up. Say something like “it was great meeting you on Wednesday at Business Leaders R US. Your passion and drive are breath taking. You are destined for great things. Best of luck to you.”
If you get business cards from people you didn’t get to talk to extensively but hope to connect with in the future, your message could say, “Hello! I am sorry we didn’t get an opportunity to connect Wednesday at Business Leaders R US. Would you be up for a quick chat on Tuesday at 2:00? I am very interested in learning more about you and your business.”
“Do what you say and say what you mean. If you commit to connecting with someone after the event, live up to your commitment. If you feel you are not interested, be honest and let them know.” – Kirk Farbel, Sales Representative, Liberty Mutual Insurance.
Thank the Host and the Person that Invited You
Always mail a handwritten note to the host of a successful event and to the person that invited you. Buy nice thank you cards (amazon for $20), write a flattering note, and send them in the mail. These individuals work very hard to put these events on and some do them for free or even pay to throw them. If you loved the event, thank the person that got you there so they will throw and invite you to future events. Also, make sure to spell the person’s name correctly. One business owner states,
“My name wasn’t even close to spelled correctly. I mean it was embarrassingly wrong and my name is a common name. Plus, I was friends with this person on Facebook and gave her a business card when we met. To me it signaled laziness, so I don’t plan on sending my clients to her.” – Anonymous.
There you have it. You are now a professional networker. Seriously though, that is all you need. If you think there is something we forgot to address in this article, please tell us about it in the comments below.