Networking is NEVER about you – it’s about the other person. Networking is WORK and it does take some preparation before you begin.
Carol Deckert is the guest writer of this blog post.
Are you willing to do the work necessary to improve your skills? Here are some questions to ask yourself in how well you are doing.
1. Brainstorm with yourself – write down all the ways in which you could help the person you are trying to network with. By focusing on them, they will remember your help and be willing to return the favor by referring you to their circles of influence. Writing this down in advance of any networking helps you to remember, to make it easy on yourself when you can repeat what you have written to each person you meet. Don’t make it salesy – make it helpful for them.
2.Next you want to WRITE DOWN your elevator pitch, your 30-second or 60-second sound bite. Be very specific (and concise) about who you are, who you help, where you are from and why you are attending that event, whether it is online or offline. Include some fun facts (1 or 2) about yourself to stay
interesting! When you feel you have it, stand in front of a
mirror – and practice, practice, practice. Be sure to time
yourself – you have to be able to do it in 30-60 seconds
3.Develop questions to get the other person talking about themselves. Ask open-ended questions that require more than a YES/NO answer. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking! You don’t have to ask all of the following, use it as a guide for developing your own questions. Remember to make it personal and conversational – this is not an interview!
* What excites you about your business or the company you are working for?
* Have you attended any other events sponsored by this group?
* How did you decide that you want to do this in your own business?
* What advice would you give someone who is just starting out in your field?
* What do you enjoy most about what you do?
* What is one thing you would definitely do in your business if you knew in advance you could not fail?
* What is one of the funniest things you have experienced while
working in your business (or your employer’s business)
* What separates you from your competition?
* If someone had to describe you in one sentence, what would they say?
* It’s now the weekend, so what do you do for fun?
4. Make yourself a cheat sheet (to refer to BEFORE each event or during the event if you are networking online. Meeting
strangers can be overwhelming and you want to always be your best face forward. Just use the cheat sheet to get some some ideas and I guarantee you will be successful.
5. Last, but not least – FOLLOW-UP. Without follow-up, you may as well never attended the event. You want people to remember you, so do something different! Handwritten notes are always a hit, because people do not take the time to do this anymore. If possible, get the person’s mailing address in order to do this. BUT, if you don’t have their mailing address, send a PERSONAL EMAIL. It’s important to do this within 24 hours of the event – or people will forget about you!
Like what Carol said? Come join our LinkedIn group.
You can reach Carol Deckert
The Networking Coach,
0: 717-278-9335 EST