In a sea of networking professionals how do you get noticed and recognized? High performance networkers know it’s easy!
It’s also very simple. Do more of what works. Sometimes the most creative thing you can do is to buckle down and play by the rules. And… you must know what the rules are. That’s the problem with people who say networking doesn’t work.
Relationships! That’s where you begin. People only do business with people they like and trust. No relationship – No referrals! Networking is not about how many sales you can make. It’s about starting at the beginning – the introduction to someone new and then working the relationship until you become close business friends. That’s when the business referrals will begin to come to you.
One thing I know for sure. I know that collaboration between networkers in networking meetings and outside of the meetings is a principle driver of creativity, innovation and, therefore business advantage. Continue to build your network outside of the meeting. Failure to invest in collaborative techniques will greatly hamper your networking productivity.
I also know that to get recognized and noticed as a professional networker you must do things that help others before you can ever expect them to do things like passing along a referral to you. If you help people out when they need assistance, then people will help you out too. When you take the time to build and nurture relationships with the people around you, you’ll build a network of “allies” who will help you when you most need it. You call attention to yourself by paying attention to others.
Never underestimate the sharpness of people’s baloney radar. They can spot a soulless networker miles away. If you appear to only be interested in making a sale, or you aren’t doing what works, they will dismiss you and quite possibly never give you a second chance. That’s a big reason why so many networkers have failed miserably at networking.
When you talk to other networkers, make it clear that you want to help in whatever way you can and that their business sincerely matters to you. Every connection has to be heartfelt, or it won’t work.
Sometimes your most effective learning can come from discomfort and duress. I acknowledge your frustration. However, for you to triumph over your disappointments, it’s important that you stand back and take a close look at yourself and discover what’s lacking.
It’s okay to ask for help!
Join forces with others who are getting results with networking. Pick their brains. It’s not possible to do that if you only see them once a week at your networking meeting. You have to get to know them. Get together with them outside of the meeting. Get together with them socially. By banding together your successes will increase. Try out some new ideas. Hatch some new ideas of your own. Become active in helping others. You can only know how to help them by genuinely getting to know them.
HOT Tip: The networking group I started in Tulsa many years ago would have what we called “Quarterly Connections.” Once each quarter, we would all get together at the lake or at someone’s house for a social get together. That’s when we really got to know each other. Not just the members of the group, but their wives and husbands were all invited. Get togethers like this inspired everyone to get to work to refer business referrals and to do anything they could to assist their friends – and I mean, genuine friends – in any way they could.
HOT Tip: Another thing our group did was to encourage everyone attending the meeting to bring at least one quality referral for someone at each meeting. When everyone brought a business referral at that meeting, everyone present was invited to a “Performance Connection” at a local bar or tavern later that same day to celebrate everyones participation. Those who were absent missed out. Our club bought everyone the first drink. I am a firm believer these two special “connections” were part of the reasons the Tulsa Business Connection exchanged just north of $2,000,000 (that’s 2 MILLION dollars) in referrals among our 40 members in our very first year. The second year was even better!
Broaden your perspective. Continue to build your community of support. You will multiply your efforts by associating with other successful networkers. The best ideas evolve.
The game has changed. You no longer can casually show a half-hearted effort by only showing up at a weekly meeting and pitching your wares. If you are serious about building your business by networking you must get noticed and recognized by doing everything you can to make friends quickly and do whatever it takes to make sure others know that not only are you in networking to make it work for you but for others as well.
Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Networking Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. 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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