Melissa Galt, Guest Author
Like many professionals, I don’t love networking. After all, too often, it is one letter away from not working! But I have learned how to make it easy and effective over the years.
First, what networking isn’t about:
• Collecting business cards, only to put these in some box in your office never to be looked at again.
• Free food, since you really need to keep your hands clean and available for meeting others and taking notes.
• A chance to catch up with colleagues you see rarely, save that for lunch or coffee.
• Getting more names to add to your ezine list, you only get to do this if you have actual PERMISSION from each person. Don’t assume it.
• Trolling for a date (fortunately, I’ve never experienced this, but I hear it is somewhat popular today!)
Instead what networking is about:
• Being interested in others first and finding out how you can serve and support their success.
• Making selected connections that you follow up on soon after and repeatedly. Success depends on your ability to be consistent and persistent.
• Scheduling coffee or lunch with both those colleagues you want to catch up with and new associates whom you want to get to know better.
• Paying it forward. When you support others in their success whether that takes the form of you providing valued connections for them, or even becoming a benefactor of their service or product yourself, you create the opportunity for RECIPROCITY. They have an unspoken obligation and in most cases desire to do the same for you.
When you network, imagine that you are at your own party and certainly at your own gathering you wouldn’t make it about you (would you?) Instead you’d focus on everyone else, and how to make them comfortable. Ask what connections they are looking for? Who is their ideal prospect? What target market do they work with? You aren’t grilling them, this isn’t an interview. You are finding out their key points of connection and then you’ll introduce them to someone else and keep moving.
Networking can be anxiety causing when you think it is all about you. Focus on the other person long enough to learn relevant facts and consider how you can connect them. When asked (and you will be asked) share your key points and let them know what a good connection for you is. Be interested first, then interesting.
Copyright © 2010 – Melissa Galt. For more simple, easy, and quick tips on social media success check out www.todaybydesign.com. When you are ready to take your business farther simply and easily, go to www.sixfigureprofessionals.com for your free strategy session.
Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
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