by Jacqueline Wales
A valuable question to ask yourself when it comes to networking is, “What is the purpose of your networking?” Is it because you want more friends, or is it because you’re hoping to find success and make some money? It’s probably the latter, as everyone wants a piece of something.
Networking effectively is a skill that can be learned.
Have you ever felt that networking was a waste of time? In the early days of building my business I did. I went out full of excitement and confidence to meet people and tell them all about my services. Like many people, I thought they would be elated and ready to instantly sign up for my services. I would exchange cards and wait in anticipation to hear from them, but then….
This happens to many people who network. You meet, you greet, you schmooze, and perhaps you come away with a couple of business cards or maybe even a fist full. Then what? You go home, stick the pile of cards on the desk or in the drawer, and never look at them again. Worse, the people who took your card did the exact same thing. You never received an email with a, “nice to meet you or let me know what I can do to serve you.” As a result, you came to believe that networking was a waste of time.
When you start to network strategically, it makes a whole new game out of it.
Did you know that it takes at least5-7 pitches before someone will buy from you. Sometimes it is less, but rarely. Make no mistake: Getting other people to buy your business service or product is work. Here are some examples that will improve your networking skills.
- Meet face to face.
- Send emails.
- Call on the phone.
- Invite to lunch.
- Send a card.
- Send some interesting information that will improve their business and life.
- Offer newsletters.
- Offer free gifts and incentives.
- Give important resources or contacts.
- In some way help improve what they are doing.
The list is endless and it’s all about being of service and making it all about the other person.
To improve your networking skills, remember that you’re building relationships based on trust.People are not going to care about your product unless they genuinely believe that you care about them as a person first. We can spot fakes, right? When we know, like, and trust someone we are more likely to buy from them. When we fearthat we’re being taken advantage of, or the other person doesn’t care about what is important to us, we lose that trust.
Zig Ziglar, the master of motivation says this. “When you help other people get what they want, you will get what you want.” The next time you’re in a networking situation, think about how you can genuinely helpsomeone else get what they need and find success. Focus on building the trust first.
Ask the following questions:
- What is your greatest challenge in business or in life?
- If you could get help on it, what would you LOVE to get help on?
Then follow-upwith finding them the right resources or giving them the right kind of advice and you will become a friend for life. The next time when they are considering your line of service or product for themselves or someone else, they will think of you.
Are you ready to improve your networking skills and open the floodgates of opportunity for you and the people you meet?
Tolearn howto take the fear out of your networking check out The Fearless Factor. It’s a great guide to understanding how to get what you want in life.
With over 30 years of personal development experience, Jacqueline earned a PhD in Life Skills at the School of Life, and at age 49, earned a black belt in karate. With this training, she decided to teach what she had learned about everyone’s favorite four-letter word… Fear.
Jacqueline was born in Edinburgh, Scotland but considers herself a global citizen having lived in London, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Paris, Amsterdam and presently New York City. She also has a home in Bali, Indonesia.