By Will Kintish, Business Networking Skills And LinkedIn Authority
1. Turn up! People forget you when you're not there.
2. Have a giving mentality. Work hard for your fellow members. Networking is about WIIFY (What's in it for you) before WIIFM (What's in it for me).
3. Get there early and try and 'loiter' afterwards. At the formal networking part of the meetings you can't really build relationships or talk serious business.
4. When you do your 1 minute talk vary it and ensure over the weeks people know all the services you offer. Every so often talk about you the person and not your business. After all, people buy people first.
5. "What do you do?" Answer this in a clear, interesting and precise way. People really want to know what you can do for them. What I am is a presenter, what I do is help people who find networking a challenge, just how easy it is.
People don’t care what you do; only what you can do for them.
6. Meet on a one-to-one basis at either your or their business premises. In fact over the period of, say 12 months, aim to have a 'home' and 'away' fixture. I see this as the most important part of being involved in networking clubs.
7. When you spot an opportunity to introduce Jack to Jill, make it easy for them by calling Jill to ask Jack if they will see Jill. Explain why you think the meeting would be good for both sides.
8. When you are given a lead, always always follow up. Whether anything comes of it or not always say thank you in the appropriate manner. When you offer to do something always do it. Build a reputation for being totally reliable...it’s great for business.
9. Breaking the ice. Most people are nervous when they first attend. So, regulars please look for the person standing alone and give them a warm welcome. Approach them with a smile, ask to join them and start a conversation. We have all travelled to get here and we are all in business. A non –threatening ice breaker to capture a wide range of answers can be, “Where have you come from?” You’ll get a geographic place or a business name either of which provokes the start of the conversation.
10. Following up. When you spot potential opportunities do persevere but don’t pester. The way round this is to ask peoples’ permission to contact them. If you don’t get a fully positive response offer your card and suggest if they think you can help to contact you.
11. Networking is building relationships. The only thing you sell at the event is yourself and your personality. Only at the one–to–one meeting should you be doing serious business.
Asking for help.
When you have a giving and abundance mentality don’t hesitate asking others for help. The more specific you can be, the easier it is for people to help you. Start with the phrase
Who do you know who….
Is looking for a new career in...?
Is an expert in...?
Can advise me about...?
Can tell me where I can find...?
May be looking for some one like me who is...?
Wants a new...?
Please can you help me? If you were me how would you...?
The author of this article is Will Kintish, leading UK authority on effective and confident networking both offline and online. If you’d like Will to speak at your conference or training workshops, call him on 0161 773 3727. Visit www.kintish.co.uk and www.kintish.tv and www.linkedintraining.co.uk for further free and valuable information on all aspects of both face-to-face and social networking.
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