What to Avoid While Networking
Networking & the holiday season can be pretty overwhelming, but with these 3 simple tips, you’ll know what to avoid while networking so you can see a RON (return on networking) come January 1, 2018!
1. Don’t just talk to the people you already know.
Defining networking to mean: Meeting new people and reconnecting with old friends, colleagues etc, is what makes networking so powerful and special.
If you only spend time with people you already know you’re missing out on meeting incredible individuals that can not only help you but that you can support as well.
Instead of trying to build new connections with strangers via LinkedIn or via random networking events, I suggest you reconnect with an old friend, neighbor or colleague and then ask them to connect you to someone they already know, like and trust. That way you can continue to build your network in a strategic and trusting way.
2. Don’t talk (about yourself) the entire time!
Is there anything worse than going to a networking event, a holiday party or a MeetUp group and getting stuck talking to someone who won't stop yacking about himself? I don’t think so..In order to avoid being ‘that person’, remember to prepare open-ended questions that you can lead a conversation with in order to learn about others.
I also suggest you practice answering some of the most common networking questions (Why do you do what you do? What do you do? Why did you come today? How do you know the host? How can I help you?) so that you can really identify what does 30-60 seconds actually feel like.
The more prepared you are the more confident you’ll appear and strong connectors are generally also very confident professionals. Lastly, practice active listening. The more you can focus your attention and block out distractions the more people around you will feel heard, supported and cared for...and the more memorable you’ll become!
3. Don’t ‘wing’ it.
So often I hear people describe networking as something that is based in luck or as a serendipitous activity. While powerful networking can happen serendipitously, it’s always better to have a plan of action or at least a goal so you can set boundaries and expectations.
Avoid walking into a networking situation with a mindset of ‘hope’. Hope is real and is powerful for certain situations, but when it comes to networking there are countless ways to ensure your own level of confidence, how many business cards you want to exchange and whether you’re going to actually follow-up. (As they say, “Fortune is in the Follow-Up”)
It’s true, sometimes we don’t know where our next job offer, client, or referral partner is coming from; other times we can be at the forefront of our desires by setting clear networking goals and committing to networking as a marathon, not a sprint.
My challenge to you is to be brave and to share your biggest networking mistake so that others can learn what NOT to do the next time they are out networking. We’ve all made mistakes, myself included, so be courageous and post your biggest networking mistake on my facebook business page. We can all learn from each other and who knows who you might connect with by doing this!
Are you ready to take your business, confidence & networking to the next level?
If you're ready to see a RON (return on networking), build invaluable connections, and have support from a certified networking coach & consultant than I encourage you to apply for #inspired5280 Mastermind Group 2018!
If you own a business or the main focus of your role is to create a book of business this group was designed to support you!
Looking to practice your networking skills/strategies? Join #inpired5280 MeetUp at our next FREE event on Wednesday, Dec. 13th from 11:15am - 12:30pm at Galvanize on 1062 Delaware. We’ll be discussing how to strategically network during the holiday season. Click here to RSVP for the event!
As always Stay Connected!