Finding the right match when you are active in networking is just one of the goals. You are looking for people of like mind to get to know on a personal level to develop the kind of business relationship you need to have networking work for you.
First, the correct match-up, next you develop the relationship and eventually you might exchange business leads and even do business together.
When connecting to others always remember. . . there are no perfect matches – (There is no man or woman on a white horse, as in personal relationships), etc. Never get in a hurry. Building long-term business relationships takes time.
If you need a special service or product. . . get matched. If others in your network need to be connected with someone special. . . be the matchmaker.
It is very wise to know what kind of people you would like to connect to and help connect to each other BEFORE you attend a networking meeting or event. Go with a specific goal. Network with a purpose. Ask the leaders of the group if those kind of people might be present and ask for an introduction.
Help connect others. In other words, BE a matchmaker. Be specific with each person you connect about why you’re connecting them and how you see the relationship potentially working out. Offer suggestions, tips and ideas that have worked for you.
Business networking is a team sport. You must be in the game, not just sitting on the sidelines hoping networking works. Take it from me. . . Networking Works! AND you must work it.
It is not always confortable to be active in networking. You must get out of your comfort zone. Do the thing you fear to do the most and the death of fear is certain. No more hanging out with your friends. You are there to meet new people. Learn to approach people with an attitude of “How may I help you?” Be the one asking the questions. Everyone has a story, so make it your job to find out what it is.
“It is easy to do – before someone else is finished sharing a thought or answering a question, you interject or answer. This is not only potentially embarrassing, but it is a telltale sign that you might not be terribly interested in listening.” ~ Frank Agin, author, “The Champion: Finding the Most Valuable Person in Your Network
Next, be sure to take the time to listen to their answers. A good question is one that gets the person talking about theirself while helping you understand their business. It’s not an opportunity for you to vet this person as a client. Allow people to talk about themselves and interject when only necessary to keep the conversation interesting.
Your objective is to schmooze and mingle (some have called this “schmingling”). It’s to develop a professional rapport with others that will deepen over time into a trusting relationship that will eventually lead to a mutually beneficial and continuing exchange of referrals and business. New contacts open future doors. The more networking friends you have, the larger interactive community you can develop within the space of your own personal network.
“When it comes to building contacts, quality trumps quantity.” ~ Ivan Misner
The quantity of contacts you make in networking means nothing. The important thing is the quality of the relationships you develop. Talk to lots of people and when you find someone that you click with, spend some quality time getting to know them. Always remember, it is better to find one person that you can help and who may be in a position to help you, than to talk to 15 or 20 who can’t.
Networking isn’t about closing business deals or meeting hordes of new people; it’s about developing relationships in which future business can be closed. It’s about matching others to the experts that you know and who can help them. Networking is about giving – doing things for people around you. . . matchmaking!
Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. 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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