- Be authentic – be genuine and build trust to establish meaningful business relationships and with confidence. Three key ingredients Like/ Trust/ Respect. The lack of mutual trust creates a psychological barrier.
- Be a giver NOT a taker, think about what you can offer not what you can get. Giving is the only way to establish a real connection and relationship. Focus solely on what you can get out of the connection and you will never make meaningful, mutually beneficial connections.
- When you network/ connect it should be all about them, not what’s in it for me.
- Know yourself and how others perceive you and adapt your communication style to suit.
- Ask open thoughtful questions – be prepared. Try not to ask “what do you do”. Power is in the words – start the conversation How/ Why/ When/ Where? ‘May I join you?’ ‘What brings you here?’ Be interested not interesting. Find a Common Point of Interest – (CPI) Have a topic prepared – Tip for ‘shy’ people.
- Listen, listen, listen – develop active listening skills – paraphrase back.
- Body language is important – 55% of whether someone likes you is based on what you see – eye contact, SMILE, don’t cross your arms, be aware of invading personal space.
- Be prepared – practice ‘flip networking’. Check people out before you meet them (if you have a guest list or Eventbrite listing) and connect with a note to say – ‘looking forward to meeting you’. This breaks the ice and great for ‘shy’ people. Tip for ‘shy’ people.
- Be strategic finding networks that will most benefit you, your business, your style and the outcomes you want –plan. Don’t use a scatter-gun approach, it’s not a numbers game. Organise your contacts to re-connect in industry, referrals, collaboration etc.
- Can you say why you do what you do and what you do in under 90 seconds? This is an engaging short story, NOT a sales pitch – practice and check your attitude – happiness can motivate people and the words you use to can engage. Share your passion, tell memorable stories so others will remember you.
- Take you business cards, don’t give them out as soon as you meet, give only at the end to follow up if it’s a connection and relationship worth building to help the other person and you connect…giving remember not transacting. Make your business card a memorable one with a photo and a little more about you.
- End the conversation ‘gracefully’! Don’t be rude or abrupt. Wait until the person has finished, make eye contact and say something like – ‘really great to meet you, enjoy the rest of the night, and hope to see you again’. Move on to meet more people.
- Follow up within 48 hours, phone, email, text or Linkedin. Should be a thank you note, NOT a pushy sales pitch.
“Better business is clicking with people not clicking online” – Bev Friend
4 THINGS YOUR NETWORK NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT YOU
- Who you are
- Why you do what you do
- What you do
- Where to find you
Bev Friend is passionate about helping professionals as well as SMB’s to understand themselves and their business and through coaching, training and consulting, achieve their peak performance and goals, just like a virtual CFO and personal executive coach!