Business Networking Made Easy
Do you feel awkward when trying to network?
Not sure how to get results?
In this video we discuss the fundamental mindset you must have to be great at business networking!
Yes, there are lots of specific things you can do to amplify your results when networking, but as long as you get the core principles down you'll certainly see success from your efforts!
Provide value. Be memorable. People will naturally want you in their professional or social network!
Do you feel out of place at a networking event? Or you just don't feel natural with the whole concept? I'm Melissa, with RodgerandMelissa.com and we've got you covered because today, I'm going to show you the simple approach to networking that anyone can use that we call, business networking made easy.
So, if you've seen any of our other videos you probably know that Rodger and I are huge fans of face-to-face interactions as a part of growing your business. So much so that we've got tons of content on tips for massively effective business networking. And, although there are a lot of things you can do to make your networking more productive, there are really just a few simple fundamental actions and mindset shifts that you need in order to make it totally worth your while and easy to do.
Now, be sure to stick around to the end because I will also give you some simple ways to find the right networking events that have the people that you want to meet in attendance.
So, first, let's start by just defining networking. So, networking is a well thought out and planned activity to manage and deepen existing relationships and establish new relationships in an effort for all parties to reach their personal and professional objectives. Phew. That is a mouthful.
Simply put, you're a professional friend maker.
That's what you do. Effective networking becomes a lifestyle, a part of your everyday life. And now, that doesn't mean that you have a business ulterior motive behind every conversation that you have. No, it simply means that the more people that you really get to know, the more opportunities will come into view. Opportunities to grow personally and opportunities to grow your business.
So, here are five of our top tips for making your networking easy and effective.
Number one, most importantly, give first. Have an open mind and give as much as you possibly can and expect nothing in return. Now, suspend any negative initial judgements and don't evaluate the potential that they may or may not bring to you. But rather, find common ground. See the good and realize that although you will not like everyone that you encounter, the connection may be mutually beneficial in the future. Search for ways that you can connect the people you meet with the people that you already know. Then, also do that in your follow-up whenever your connection needs arise.
Number two. Come prepared with an introduction for yourself. Now, some might call this your elevator pitch but remember, this is not a sales pitch or a you fest. Don't sell, don't pitch, and don't do all the talking by telling them everything there is to know about you, your company, and your services. Instead, design your intro to generate a great conversation with your new friend. A great one liner or a catchy tagline might make you a little bit more memorable. We actually did a video dedicated to this topic and it should be linked in the cards above.
Now also, come prepared with some typical ice breakers, questions, and conversation starters that are kind of natural for you in order to avoid any awkward silence or weird introductions.
Number three. Put your cell phone away and be fully present in your conversations. Your undivided attention is what they deserve. Don't be held captive to your phone and don't let it be a convenient distraction when you're feeling a little uncomfortable about meeting others.
Number four, be intentional about the events that you attend. Networking with like-minded individuals allows you to reap the benefits of their already established relationships.
And of course, number five, once the event is over, have some sort of plan to follow-up and keep the conversation going. Remember, networking is about developing relationships, not simply coming home with some business cards. So, at the end of this video we'll also link our networking follow-up strategies. So be sure to check that one out.
Now, real quick, let us know in the comments below if you are networking and if it's easy for you. Just a simple yes or no or a quick comment as to the most difficult or uncomfortable piece of the process for you. We would love to know so that we can put together more content to help you out.
As a bonus for sticking with me, here are a few things to help you determine the right places for you to network and to meet the types of people that you're hoping to connect with.
Now first, you have to be very clear on who you want to meet and what types of events they attend. This may send you to a couple of different types of events. One event might have potential clients while another type of event will be full of potential strategic referral partners.
Second, you have to take into consideration your own comfort level and personality. So, if you're not a really outgoing, crazy, out of the box kind of person, maybe start with the events that have some open networking time or guided networking and then maybe a speaker that's gonna provide some value or prompt group discussions instead of a happy hour at the local bar.
And finally, the timing. When are you at your best? Is it morning, afternoon, evening? There are hundreds of events and groups that you can get involved with. Find one or two that fit well into your schedule and your peak performance hours. That way, you will be able to consistently attend and have a higher energy level which will affect the way that you show up and interact with others.
I wanna share some of my favorite places to meet new people. Now, of course, there is a typical networking event through Meetup or the Chamber of Commerce or local associations but, what about thinking a little bit more outside of the box? The best relationships sometimes start in the most unusual places and even though they begin from more of a social setting than a business setting, these relationships should not be underestimated.
So here are my top three: workshops and classes. Now, no, these don't have to even be business related. It could be for a hobby or a new skill. Our local college here actually allows people over 55 to audit classes for free. What a great way to expand your horizons. Number two, civic or social clubs such as Elks, Rotary, Women's Clubs. These are great places to get involved. You can make a difference and meet new people. And of course, number three, volunteer. Find a charity or a cause that you believe in and while you are making a difference you just never know who you might meet.
So, the networking lifestyle doesn't have to be hard. There are so many opportunities to meet people every single day, from the grocery store to a kids soccer game to other entrepreneurs doing business at a coffee house. So just remember, in everything that you do, if you make yourself valuable and memorable, others will want to have you as a part of their social or their professional network. So be connection worthy. Provide value. Perform random acts of kindness. Make a difference. Listen and have a consistent attitude of giving first.
Next, be sure to watch our video on networking follow-up and if we brought you some value today, hit that like button. And if you're new here, just go ahead and subscribe. And that other video, well, YouTube picked it out so, must be good. See you soon and happy connecting.