Let’s face it, networking events SUCK…it can be uncomfortable at best and intimidating at worst.
Ugh, when I first started my business I would rather have stuck needles in my eyes. I got so nervous I didn’t want to be seen (Truth).
Are you feeling me, up in here? Really, I might seem comfortable now, but it wasn’t always like this.
And even now … I would sometimes prefer to stay home and be creating or writing on my computer. So what if you’re an introvert? Good luck with that, right?
Networking is a Skill & Master Networking is an ART
If you can master the secrets of master networkers it can be one of the most powerful ways to build your business. There is nothing more powerful than being in someone’s ENERGY and creating AFFINITY with them.
To master anything you need to practice and you can follow these simple steps to connect, get related and build rapport:
- Get Connected: Instead of setting goals to meet 5 people and come back with as many business cards as possible…Decide on the goal to connect and have a meaningful conversation with at least one person. How would that change the way you feel about networking?
Rebel Tip: It’s not the quantity…It’s the quality of your connection and energy exchange that makes things happen.
Rebels Renegades and Revolutionaries Think Differently
- Be more interested in them, than interesting: Mostly stop talking! Ask them questions and be present with them. And sometimes the conversation will be disconnected or stilted. Just be aware of the energy, thank the person and move on.
Rebel Tip: Don’t push or try to make anything happen. Know that it is all perfect and you are there to meet someone else and connect with them. Let go and move on.
- Dress to Impress: You are sized up in 3 seconds or less and have 7 seconds to impress. Good posture, crisply ironed clothing and eye contact are critical. Oh, did I mention shoes! Yes, Shoes. People look at your face and your shoes. That goes double for speakers on the stage. When you are out networking… consider you are out speaking. You are at your own personal speaking gig.
Rebel Tip: Wear something that is a conversation starter. Signature scarf or interesting tie that can give people a way to just start to talk to you, an easy icebreaker. Accessories that say something about you and your interests, something memorable or quirky.
- Business Card Etiquette: Stopping handing them out! Hold on, what? They are distracting and interrupt your energy connection. If you have a good vibes and feel there is juju between you …and sincerely what to get to know the person better or have a tip or lead for them, then be the first to ask or offer them something.
Rebel Tip: Be the first to give something the other person wants or needs (not your business card, get it!) for no reason other than it’s fun and feels good.
- Following Up: If you don’t do this don’t go out. Follow up with everyone you had a good connection with. Be open and share. Ask them how can I help you? Who can I connect you to? What do you need? Reflect back on your conversation (make a note on their biz card to jog your memory).
Rebel Tip: Don’t just follow up with people who can help you or you think you can sell to. You don’t know WHO you just met. Who they know or their circle of influence. Ask for what you want openly. You want a connection to Oprah, ASK.
When you are in a room of people…Everything you need is available in that room… (killer cavate: you have to ask)