…and that’s Just for Starters!
I hear it all the time when I talk with networkers—especially from those who are trying to become better at their business networking; “What techniques do you suggest I use to be better at networking?”
First, we should define what you mean by ‘…be better…’ I can assume things, but have been surprised when I simply ask what they mean by “Being better.” Let’s assume, for this post, you mean that you want to be more effective at connecting with those in the room who will provide you with more referrals (since that is what’s in our title).
Now—I’m going to surprise you! The first thing you can do to get more referrals is to not implement networking techniques at all!
My favorite talk when I’m brought into a company event to train employees, agents, or a sales force is to have them focus on their ‘mindset’—as this is where the real networking starts. It’s impossible to have success in your networking if all you focus on is technique. If your mind and heart are not in it, you won’t feel like you’ve had any success at all.
The three tips?
- Make sure you don’t treat the people in the room like a business—treat them like ‘people!’ People do business with people, not businesses. People hire you, not businesses. People have interests, not businesses.
- Don’t think about what you will be saying (or asking) next. In other words; quit focusing on yourself. Keep your focus on the person in front of you.
- Don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to meet everyone in the room—keep to 5 people that you spend some time with. As you do this and talk with them, listen to what they are saying and ask them follow up questions as the discussion progresses. Don’t ask ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ questions—ask questions that take a sentence or two to answer.
These three things are a mind-shift for you—especially since you’re so used to talking about yourself and your business.
Bonus Tip: Don’t think of yourself as a ‘Business’ either—you’re a person. Act like one!
ONward, Bob Arnold
p.s.; I’m available for short term or long term training of employees, agents, or a sales force on the key points of networking—all the way from beginning mindset to detailed, targeted networking which is where the 200%+ referrals hide.
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