There are still some sales folks around who will explosion vomit their solutions all over their potential customers followed immediately by asking for more business. Wow. Good luck with that approach. Relationships are earned – there are not owed to you.
Patience, value creating, and competency are needed in copious amounts in order for you to be offered an open ear. Only then can any solid relationship happen. Just slipping your business card quickly into people’s hands during your first encounter – especially C level folks – is usually a waste of time. Networking events are for providing value and for connecting people of value to others. Here are four things to consider when networking:
- Be prepared to add value to your new contact. This is by far the most important point in any networking activity. If you have nothing to add to any new relationship then don’t wonder why your circle of relationships does not increase. Remember that it is not important whom you know, it is more important who knows and remembers you.
- Willingness to give before asking for anything. Honestly, do you really think that asking for favors the first time you meet someone will get you anywhere? You may luck out guilt tripping someone into giving you something, but is that sustainable in the long run? Approaching anyone with an open heart, soul, and your intellect / mind and making sure that you are willing to give your talents away helping someone else is the best way to start your networking process.
- Invest your time smartly – but please make sure that you do spend time with your newfound friend. Only when you get to spend some significant quality time together will you really get to appreciate new folks and old alike. When people see and get to experience first-hand that you are the real deal you make a deeper connection that is trust based. That is the essence of relationship building.
- Make sure you are genuine and sincere. Be genuinely compassionate with everybody. Compassion means that you are suffering with someone else. That is what it is all about. When you care enough to stop noticing what the real issue is that someone has, only then will you be able creating a much more genuine relationship. Listening and truly understanding where someone is coming from is essential for applying the correct technology / method to solving issues.
Networking is easy and effective if you are willing to give first. There is only one thing that you can ask. Ask for whom may be able to help you, or ask for another connection this person could possibly offer to you. Your new contacts owe you nothing, certainly not respect or their time. Earn their attention by working hard connecting them with new people, ideas, concepts, products, and services. Only then will you become a master at networking and your income potential rises with it.