I just wanted to share, a couple of quick tips about networking I’ve had. Several people come to me and say, “You know, I really am too busy. Can’t do it, can’t get out” and I really want to encourage you to just get over that and say, “Your business is people and you have to be in front of people in order to build your business.” It just is what it is, and you’ve got to be out there.
I want to talk to you about a couple of points on how to network efficiently and share with you some resources that I share with both my clients, my network, people that I know, and that I’ve known for a long time. A couple quick tips about networking, and again, this is whether you’re shy or you’re extroverted, whatever, I am really one of the shy ones.I am great when I’m on stage and when I’m in a group, but when I’m one on one, it is really out of my comfort zone, and it is not the easiest thing for me. It does take a lot for me but I really do enjoy it once I’m out there.
One is to be consistent. If you are one that thinks that you can just join an online group, Facebook, LinkedIn, something, and just pop in there once a while with your next workshop, your next advertising, whatever’s happening, and then you get upset that nobody’s responding to you, I promise you that is not how to network. Networking is about building friendships, building relationships, and helping other people. It does take consistency. You can network efficiently online, but that is not everything. We can do a whole training on how to network efficiently that way, ’cause I’ve done it multiple times and it does work, but you do need to be out and actually see people face to face. So, be consistent.
Show up and really learn about other people, but the way you show up is to be genuinely interested in other people. Find out what they’re excited about, who do they need to meet? How can you connect them? What resources can you share with them? Whether it’s you or somebody else, and really get to know them and understand their needs. That doesn’t mean that you say, “How are you? What’s going on in your life? What’s happening?” And then turn around and say, “Okay, I helped you, now you help me.” It’s not a check mark. It’s not back and forth like that. It really is just being genuine with people.
So, I encourage you to just listen and be open and don’t try and one up somebody. That’s not how you’re going to build. I really do love meeting people and learning about them and understanding what gets them excited and where they’re going in life, and then … I mean, you just never know. I know people across the globe and I’ve connected people in Kenya, I’ve connected in India, I’ve connected people all over the place, simply because I listened to their stories, and I promise you everything comes full circle and eventually they connect me to somebody else, but it’s not a check mark. I don’t expect it. I just want people to grow their business and this is the way you should network.
The third networking like a pro secret is to follow-up. Follow-up means thank you notes. It means actually making that connection. If you said, “Hey, I know somebody that could help you,” actually take that step and make that connection. Whether it’s an email to both parties, and it’s a virtual introduction, or a Facebook message, or a LinkedIn message, or whatever resource you’re using, but connect those parties together or actually make the call to the other person and say, “Hey, I’ve got this resource. Here’s all the information. I encourage you to reach out.”But if you just say, “I know somebody” and then you just let it drop, it comes back and it looks bad on you. Do that follow-up and actually make that connection for people. If you’ve got an upcoming event or a workshop, or you know someone else, again, that’s inside your network that has an event or a workshop, that would help this person, that they need that information, invite them. Get them out there, say, “Here’s, why I thought of you. This is what you just talked about, and here’s why I thought of you” and actually make that effort to invite them. It will go a really long way.
Those are the three networking like a pro tips I wanted to share. Be consistent, be genuinely interested in others, and do the follow-up, and actually make those connections.