Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication.
Where? When? How?
Whether you are using Social Media or Face-2-Face Networking, you must have strategies in place to yield results. Now that you have thought about what your needs are, we can talk about some of the types of groups you can attend.
The rule of thumb is 3:
1. A strong contact group like a formal Network Association.
2. A casual contact group like a Chamber of Commerce or organization .
3. A service group like a Rotary or a social group like a Meet Up.
Once you have joined your selected groups, you are ready to deepen your relationships with the other members . Be clear that your goal is not to get referrals, but rather, to start building a relationship that has a foundation of trust. This is the hardest part of networking because we live in a society of immediate gratification. Rarely do we practice patience and wait for our rewards. However, it is important to understand this concept; that before you can start exchanging referrals and build a referral marketing system, you have to put your time in.
You must cultivate your relationships by building your visibility and credibility before you can expect to get a referral. It is also a good idea to get to know the people you are referring others to, so you can give referrals with confidence.
You have already started collecting tools to use like your “Elevator Pitch” that you have prepared & practiced. You have a clear focus on your goals for the meeting or event you will attend, and you feel confident and composed.
It is a good idea to get there early, so you can scope the situation and you’re not running in late and frazzled. You want to be noticed and remembered, but in a positive light. You will want to speak clearly and at a good pace. Don’t go running around talking quickly and collecting as many cards as you can. It is not a “card contest” . You will be much more successful having authentic conversations with a few people you focus on to connect with. Now, you can apply the following strategies to continue your relationship building.
The next 3 strategies for effective Networking are:
4. Do what you like to do. If you like to use social media, post, blog, upload and share. Host parties, attend events. Practice your social skills so you are relaxed. Being your authentic self is a powerful way to build relationships that will anchor your referral based system.
5. Be Memorable. An easy way to do this is to ask a powerful question. This starts conversations and when we listen to others, they are more likely to remember us. Most of the time, we are hearing to respond. This breaks down the communication and leaves us not remembering much about our new connection. So, when we truly listen to what a person is saying, it makes them feel good and they will remember you. It is twice effective as you will actually remember them.
6. Follow-Up is Everything. This is why it is much better to get cards than to give cards. When you “hold the cards” so to speak, you control the communication. You do not have to hope, sit, wait….instead you can grab the bull by the horns and Follow Up! Keep the cards that you have collected in one place ready to email a brief “It was nice to meet you.” Almost always you will get a response, mostly with a suggestion to meet, grab a coffee or a let’s do lunch.
You are on your way! Stay tuned……………
It’s your turn, let me know what you think, how it’s going so far. Your Coach, Rose.