'Effective networking isn't a result of luck - it requires hard work and persistence.' - Lewis Howes
Many people think that their network is only created through networking, thanks to events they attend, business cards they give, etc.
But in reality, everyone has a network: your network is composed of your school alumni, your family, your former colleagues and everyone else you have crossed path with!
Networking really is about creating YOUR pool of contacts, keeping in touch and growing the number of business and personal relations you have. You don’t need any reason to network: all contacts are great to have and will be useful one day.
Dale Carnegie — 'To be interesting, be interested.'
Yes, if you want to be interesting you have to be interested.
When you are networking, show the person you are speaking to what your values are, understand what the person is looking for so you can best tailor your approach and best understand how your company or your business can bring usefulness to them.
Don’t focus on what you want but focus instead on what others are looking for. Adapt your speech to them; remember you are more likely to make an impact by listening. Indeed, when you become more interested in other people — actively listening to them and engaging with them — they’ll see you as more interesting. Active listening is a significant social skill you must develop and hone.
So How to Build a Bit of Intimacy in all Conversations
Making others like you amounts to making them feel special about themselves—making them feel that you really “get” them. The next time you meet someone new at a social setting, try this easy technique to be more interested.
1/ The key to become absorbed in a conversation is to focus on being curious about others. Not something that always come naturally so tell yourself repetitively: “This seems to be the most interesting person in the world. Let me discover why.”
And look for opportunities to connect.
2/ When you meet someone new, make eye contact and more importantly, make sure to smile. Introduce yourself with a simple “Hi, my name is Joanna Kovaleski. I am Megan’s real estate agent.”
3/ Pay attention and make them feel like they are the only people in the room. Maintain the eye contact throughout the conversation.
4/ Ask a question or two (the more the merrier!) about the person before talking about yourself. “Do you know anyone here?” “How do you like Chicago?”
Chatting with somebody in socializing situations should be less about discerning the details of the other’s life and more about building a bit of familiarity and discover some common points to initiate stimulating conversations, debates, discussions, and exchange of ideas about topics of mutual interest.
These prospects will all be missed if your initial interaction starts with annoying and usually boring cross-examinations such as “What do you do for a living?”. Do things differently and stand out from the crowd.
5/ Ask a follow-up question based on what they have just said. Try to understand who they are and why they are there. Learn about their interests and hobbies.
6/ Tell the person more about yourself. Use what you’ve just learned about the other person so far to selectively highlight anything you have in common.
Again, the more information you have gathered, the easier it is to then connect with the person in front of you.
7/ Then, ask one question to bring the focus back to the other person.
8/ People love to talk about themselves so, make them. Everyone’s got a story (or two) to tell!
9/ Don’t talk too much or too little. Try taking your focus off yourself.
Remember that it is all about building the relationship and inspiring trust from start. This is often done by showing interest to the person you have in front of you.
Last but not least, you shouldn’t network only when you need it. Don’t wait for the need to get more sales or the launch of a new product to be interested in others.
Network for your business but network also for yourself and network all the time.
‘Network all the time, everywhere, with everybody’
Prepare your network before you need it and keep in mind that your network is your net worth!
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