Steps to Seriously Improve Your Networking Skills

It really doesn’t matter what profession you are in, networking— making connections, and Friend-preneurs accelerates your success. You being known, growing your own authority, as well as learning from people you meet is totally priceless and can make you tons of money too.

For most of us, especially if you are starting out in your business, networking sucks. You may just feel downright out of place not knowing what to say, how to say it, or how to maintain the relationship once you’ve started it.

Don’t worry you are not alone…

I am going to give you my no-BS Rebel Networking Tips so you can shine like a rock-star.

Step 1: Mindset

This is the first critical step in anything. What is going on in your mind? What are you thinking about networking and meeting people? Ok that most likely is not supporting you, right? The best thing you can do is “Don’t be a put on”.

The best networking comes from REAL relationships and not business card exchanges. No matter whom you’re trying to connect and build a relationship with treat that person like a friend not a business connection (if you don’t connect don’t get their card). Find something you have in common, keep it light, make jokes and above all show that you care. Take their card if you would truly like to follow up, get to know them better, and continue the conversation.

Rebel Tip: Treat networking like it’s your party. You greet the guests and connect them with each other so they feel comfortable and so they belong. The last time I did this, the person I had just met went to my website, called me, and invited me to be on her telesummit that is going to reach 300,000 people (coolio).

Step 2: Outcome

Doing something just because “you think you should” rarely produces what you want. I am a firm believer in declaring yourself as a way of being, setting your intention and the outcome you are committed to producing. This is a creative process so have some fun with it. And you can use this formula for anything you are wanting to produce in your business or life.

Outcome Formula (for networking or life):

  • Way of Being: The possibility of being open and caring.
  • Intention: To connect with each person so they feel listened to and seen.
  • Outcome: 5 new leads for new friendships or possible client connections

Rebel Tip: Live into what you really want rather than what you don’t want. Be willing to do things differently even if you don’t quite understand them.

Step 3: Have a Map

Design your destination. Know where you want to go so you can get there. If you are driving to NYC from LA there are many roads to take you there however without a map and structures such as when you want to arrive and how much time you want to be on the road…it literally could take a lifetime if you are meandering and stopping everywhere. So be focused.

If you want to make $5,000 or $10,000 a month figure out how many clients you need to produce that, how many follow up phone calls, how many networking events, how many speaking gigs, how many webinars, and plan it out. Write out your 60 day and 90 day goals that will get you closer to your big brilliant money goal for the year.

1-year goal: Hit $5,000 a month ($60,000 a year) in new business.

90-day goal: Get your first paying client

So do it. Physically write it down!

Rebel Tip: Reverse engineer it. Start with the end in mind and work backwards to the tiny tasks like networking, phone calls and follow up that will ultimately produce the big yearly goal you desire.

Step 4: Nurture and Foster Your Connections

So how do you foster a real connection when you first meet someone whether it’s on Skype, on the phone, or live in person?

Here are my 3 Rebel Nurturing Factors:

  1. Ask insightful questions that inspire and get people thinking. You can know a lot about someone by the quality of the questions they ask you. The quality of your questions correlate directly to the quality of your life.
  2. Ask better questions. Get better answers. The best questions start with “How can we…” by asking better questions you make yourself memorable. You also become known as someone who thinks differently and you can help the other person think about things in a new way that helps them grow.
  3. Be Present and Pay Attention (as if your life depended on it!). In our world of Google and the smartphone this has become a challenge for most of us. How often have you been faced with a ringing text message or someone fidgeting & looking around interrupting your every word? By simply being present, listening attentively, and responding with relevant questions, you’ve separated yourself from the pack and are on your way to creating a real relationship.

Rebel Tip: Listen. Ask good questions. Repeat.

Step 5: Be a Super Connector

The fastest way to grow you own network is to introduce two people who can benefit from knowing each other. This may sound like a big DUH, but surprisingly most people don’t do it. When was the last time someone deliberately went out of their way to hook you up to someone after listening to your challenges or needs? Currently, there are over 3 billion people online and it’s increasingly difficult to know and distinguish who to connect with…so being a Super Conductor is uber important.

Here are a few ways to be a Rebel Superconnector:

  • Have an Abundance Mentality (don’t keep score) — always be willing to give and to share.
  • Make Friends, not contacts. Have valuable quality conversations.
  • Connect other Superconnectors. Do you know 2 connectors who would benefit from knowing each other? It’s super easy to do because they are naturally friendly and likely to have things or friends in common. So if you connect them, it will further their goals and they will most likely remember you for future connections that will benefit you.
  • Interview People. This may be one of the fastest ways to grow your network if done strategically. You could do this in the context of a book, radio show, teleseminar, or my new favorite – a podcast.
  • Follow-up. This is the big one we all forget to do, however; following up to see how the introduction went without an agenda (just checking in because you care) will help you to maintain your connections, foster your relationships, and take them to a whole new level. We are in a fast-paced world of take, take, take, imagine the impact of simply caring about someone as a friend. That will put you in a completely different category altogether.

Ok so start following up and connecting with people. The best time to do this is right now.

Go for it!

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