Breaking the mould
We are supposed to point out one negative for every positive when talking about
something, but when it comes to evaluating our own performance in business
networking, first impressions count and one mistake in how we deal with people
its probably worth doing a bit of self examination and make sure we don't
commit howlers by checking what they might be.
We all make mistakes in business networking... maybe without realising
Great blog article The Five biggest Networking mistakes and how to avoid them,
Sue Clement touches on issues that any professional networker needs to have
quick peek at from time to time. So its time to get out from behind the sofa and
have an unflinching look at these common errors do any of these apply to you.
"Are you networking to grow your business? Are you constantly looking for more prospects? If you're wearing yourself out attending scores of networking events and still have very little to show for it, it's time to try something else. A good way to get started is by learning from your mistakes...
You go to networking events 'expecting' to find clients.
You try to pass out as many business cards as possible at every opportunity.
You don't like to waste time with 'chit chat' and instead tell people about what you have to offer as soon as possible.
You try to close the sale right then and there -- after all, you may not have another opportunity.
You follow up with everyone, making them an enticing offer they can't refuse -- and are puzzled that they decline anyway.
So what should you do instead?
1. If you're going to networking events focusing on getting clients, you'll miss out on what you COULD find: connections.
Focus on getting to know people instead. They may not buy your product today, or ever, but in time they may send numerous people your way who could - but not unless you develop a relationship with them.
2. If you think passing out business cards is a numbers game, you're sadly mistaken. Instead, focus on getting to know people -- and get their cards as well.
Quality is far more important than quantity. Make sure that you have made enough of a connection that people actually remember you when you call later or see them next time -- and remember you in a positive light.
3. Don't jump in with your offer.
Instead focus on the other person, get to know more about them and their business. Start by building rapport and connections. Try and find ways that you can be of service or help them, make introductions and refer them if you can. Ultimately, just get to know them.
4. The hard sell is dead.
If you want to chase away prospects, this is exactly how to do it. It's ok to talk about what you do or offer, the problems you solve and outcomes your clients get. Where you cross the line is when you assume what you do is what they need and start selling and pushing your product or service on them.If the person you're talking to is interested in your services - schedule a sales appointment. You'll be much more likely to make the sale once you've established a relationship.
5. When you follow up with people after networking events, don't start selling them.
Again, develop the relationship by finding out more about them, seek to be of service and continue to build that relationship. If your follow-up is by email - don't send a sales pitch. Instead reference a point in your conversation and offer them something of value - an informational article, resource link or introduction.Keep thinking about ways to build 'relationships' and be of service."
So we’ve seen the business networking bloopers what is the one golden rule
The golden rule of networking can be described in one word….Give
Giving is what makes networking work. Think about it. If everyone networked to get something, then nobody would get anything. When everyone gives, everyone receives. Not to mention all of the good feelings and satisfaction you GET from giving.
What would happen in your life and to your level of success if you tried to give just a little more every day? Here are some ideas to inspire your actions:
Give thanks.... Give ideas...... Give suggestions..... Give referrals...... Give hope...... Give praise..... Give back.... Give someone a chance...... Give because you can..... Give encouragement..... Give generously Give of your time...... Give constructive feedback...... Give to your favorite cause...... Give to everyone..... Give to make someone's day...... Give today..... Give support...... Give anonymously.... Give books Give without expectations..... Give to give ....Give daily.... Give now
This golden rule was brought to you all the way from Austin Texas by the excellent NetWorking in Austin blog