Seriously, I have built my business by networking. Some people love it and some people hate it. But, for sure, it works. The chamber, the business networks, the BNIs and more sponsor networking events mostly for small businesses. I had an interesting phone call today, a future client called because he’s getting involved in a great business deal and might need my services. He said when he was meeting with the third party my name came to mind. We met 2 years ago, and he remembered me, oh my, that’s so cool. We are in the very beginning of our conversations and we will see where it goes but that’s the real live goal of networking – THAT SOMEONE REMEMBERS YOU!
HERE ARE 7 TRAITS OF A SUPER NETWORKER
- You must have self-awareness, the ability to read social cues and more importantly the ability to step aside and learn about others.
2. You must have over the top listening skills. Networking is so much more than talking about yourself, it’s listening to others and being able to discern if there is a future business connection.
3. I believe smiling is important, a welcoming personality is always more successful at networking than someone who cannot “put on a happy face”.
4. Be a giver look for opportunities to do something for someone for free, something like a referral, a lunch or maybe a complimentary first meeting.
5. Be genuine and believable a sincere delivery will always trump the talking for the sake of talking delivery
6. Show up consistently, you cannot go to one event and tell believe you are an effective networker, try at least once a week.
7. Follow-up without follow-up you might as well have not even attended the event. Call, text, email, the next day to keep the conversation going, send a nice to meet you card immediately and take the relationship to the next level. Now is the time to offer something with no sales attached.
If it’s your first networking event, take your time, think about listening and meeting people with no sales involved, if it’s beyond your first rodeo, go get um and build the relationship first. A strong trusting relationship will run circles around cold calling and many other tactics that just don’t work.
Carol is a Motivational Speaker, Executive Coach, Fundraising Strategist, Social Media Quarterback and Small Business Advisor. She is Lehigh Valley’s sought after consultant who assists organizations with results driven growth. Her strategies can be easily adapted to a for profit or non-profit environment. Carol specializes in high impact leadership, million dollar fundraising, smash the box marketing, and creating word of mouth epidemics for her clients. Visit Carol’s website at www.caroltalks.com and “LIKE” Carol at Caroltalks on Facebook. Carol S. Ritter, Past President, National Speakers Association Philadelphia and past board chair for St. Luke’s University Hospital Visiting Nurses Association & Hospice.