I read this article by: Colleen Debaise – Entrepreneur .Com.
The message is simple yet powerful I have come to the conclusion that it is worth while sharing this with other readers.
Networking goes hand in hand with running a successful business.
But many of us dread walking into a room and introducing ourselves to a bunch of strangers.
I've been asked to share my best networking tips at a of the National Association of Women Business Owners in Philadelphia. Here are the most valuable tips I've come across – and put to work myself – over the years:
1. Resist the urge to arrive late. It's almost counter-intuitive, but showing up early at a networking event is a much better strategy than getting there on the later side. As a first attendee, you'll notice that it's calmer and quieter – and people won't have settled into groups yet. It's easier to find other people who don't have conversation partners yet.
2. Ask easy questions. Don't wait around the edges of the room, waiting for someone to approach you. To get the conversation started, simply walk up to a person or a group, and say, "May I join you" or "What brings you to this event?" Don't forget to listen intently to their replies. If you're not a natural extrovert, you're probably a very good listener – and listening can be an excellent way to get to know a person.
3. Ditch the sales pitch. Remember, networking is all about relationship building. Keep your exchange fun, light and informal – you don't need to do the hard sell within minutes of meeting a person. The idea is to get the conversation started. People are more apt to do business with – or partner with – people whose company they enjoy.
If a potential customer does ask you about your product or service, be ready with an easy description of your company. Before the event, create a mental list of recent accomplishments, such as a new client you've landed or project you've completed. That way, you can easily pull an item off that list and into the conversation.
4. Share your passion. Win people over with your enthusiasm for your product or service. Leave a lasting impression by telling a story about why you were inspired to create your company. Talking about what you enjoy is often contagious, too. When you get other people to share their passion, it creates a memorable two-way conversation.
5. Smile. It's a simple – but often overlooked – rule of engagement. By smiling, you'll put your nervous self at ease, and you'll also come across as warm and inviting to others. Remember to smile before you enter the room, or before you start your next conversation. And if you're really dreading the event? Check the negative attitude at the door.
6. Don't hijack the conversation. Some people who dislike networking may overcompensate by commandeering the discussion. Don't forget: The most successful networkers (think of those you've met) are good at making other people feel special. Look people in the eye, repeat their name, listen to what they have to say, and suggest topics that are easy to discuss. Be a conversationalist, not a talker.
7. Remember to follow up. It's often said that networking is where the conversation begins, not ends. If you've had a great exchange, ask your conversation partner the best way to stay in touch. Some people like email or phone; others prefer social networks like LinkedIn. Get in touch within 48 hours of the event to show you're interested and available, and reference something you discussed, so your contact remembers you.
"To Your Success"!
On the spot Francois. Thank you for this insightful article. It is a good reminder to me. What are your thoughts about online networking. I had and still have the vision of an online Internet Marketing "Family". The name of my business (recently started) is HinvestA ... iGeneration Lifestyle. I'm introducing products and opportunities that people can use to either start their own online business or just get involved and improve their lifestyle (or both). I found that people like to do their "own thing" and constantly reinvent. (This in itself is not a bad thing though). Therefore my intention is to allow people to do their "own thing", but in the same time giving them the opportunity to form part of a group mutually supporting one another. A good example is http://www.freezinveste.tk/ and http://www.epconsultants.tk. Pardon the links. These two members now have exposure for their businesses on the Internet and one of them are also involved in one of my affiliate opportunities. This will enables the latter to start earning residual income while she is on course for her intended business and have a full time job. There is more to it than just that, but the main task now, is to spread the news. I received positive feedback and also advise from top Internet Marketers and two have even signed up just to see what I'm up to. Your thoughts?
Hi Herman, Thank you for your reply and comments so noted.
Online networking is an fantastic way to connect with new and other like minded business individuals who want to meet and market their respective product and service offering.Having had the experience of registering on Online Newtworking platforms I have come to the following conclusion/s:
To have any success on any Online Networking Platform for eg: MyGenius.Com and others, the crucial element here to succeed is for fellow members to understand to share and do business with one another.This is a very simple criterium.Why do people register for eg: on MyGenius .Com? They register in the hope of doing and sharing business with each other.Unfortunately, my experiece to date with these Online Networking forums, is that people register and wait for others to ask for quotes etc.The mentality is that they don't wan't to make the first move.Untill many people rid themselves of this mindset, then it will alwys be difficult to do and share business in such a Forum / Platform.I have mentioned and discussed this with Ian Bryant of MyGenius.Com and the feeling is mutual, we need to share and do business with one another.If we don't, we only have a shop front window and everyone is only window shopping.A waste of time and energy then to stay on such an Online Networking Platform!
Considering business opportunities on this platform, yes there are many.Everyone is marketing and offering some sort of product and service.It has become evident that our current stressed economic environment,the fact that most goverments around the world and big corporations can't provide for individuals future any more, has led to Entrepreneurial thinking,Entrepreneurial methodologies and people searching for an better alternative to the 9-5 slog and ratrace.Not a bad thing after all.It shows a number of people willing to take and better their future prospects during turbulent times.
Unfortunately, we can't belong and register for all these programs on offer.Some of them are alot of nonsense and unscrupulous so called "gurus" are just willing to take your cash and enrich themselves.They add no alue and dont have any value to offer - so be aware and do your due diligence effectively.
Regarding your comment that " people like to do their own thing" is true, however, people must realise that to get somewhere in life you need to work and share with one another.You need help,offer guidance, leadership etc to function and to obtain success.To mentor someone and see them rise above failure and mediocraty is just so awesome and self fulfilling
I will scrutinze your links and revert to you soonest.
Good luck,keep in contact and let's learn and share with one another.
"To Your Success"
I leave you with my slogan to ponder over: Stay In Touch - "Networking Is A Contact Sport" :)
Wow, I almost thought “like minded” is a myth (on a light note). Finally I at least found someone and this is not “sweat talk”. I’m sure there are more out there, but finding them is not easy. When I tell people about my business online, they sign on. So it is just a question of spreading the word. At the moment I’m advertising and it looks like my visits are already picking up. The next step will be to spread the word more effectively on the four social media site I’m involved in. Would also like to discuss the concept here, but not sure if I may and so far I have a clean name … I think J
On the subject of sharing; Everyone has something someone else can learn from. No matter how insignificant it may seem. Years ago people hid their knowledge, but nowadays the Internet is knowledge. If most people know what I knew about the Internet before I started my online business, they would have laughed at the announcement that I’m going online. What I learned I learn from the Internet and from exactly those who are willing to share. Sometimes for free and sometime just to cover their cost. Like you say, why keep on window shopping while in every window there is an opportunity and the owner of the window will be more than happy to share his profits if he can add your friends to his potential customer list. I looked at figures today of how many people are on the Internet and how many not. The potential is currently limitless. That is why I do not chase money. I’d rather share my opportunity with thousands and make $10 from each than sharing it with 10 people and squeeze $100 from each. In doing so one gives the member an opportunity he can get excited about, knowing that more people will follow.
Regarding entrepreneurs; you’re right. Like Jay Kubassek (founder of PRO U) says; “This is the age of the Entrepreneur”. There are so much ability and talent and so many opportunity out there. All it takes is for people to take the first step and face their fears. I have an audio by Justin Popovic about stepping into the fear on my Lifestyle page. In my studies on the Internet I’ve met those who are willing to walk the extra mile with you, but I’ve also met the “Warning!!! You have attempted to contact XYZ personally”- kind. Don’t forget the one who mentioned on the air that I’m not found fit for his business yet (and that because I asked for support). By the way; they are forgiven.
If I could help a hundred people to earn a living (it will be much more) on the Internet it will give me the fulfilment of a lifetime. I’m keeping this discussion as I’m sure we will still talk a lot more. Hope there are others who will want to join the discussion. Sure you won’t mind. Until next time.
Thank you for posting this article/ tips, I think I may have read this article on entrepreneur.com too
But being reminded of these networking tips is also great.
So thanks again..
Hi Francois, I've sent you an email on our latest discussion.
Welcome to My Genius.Com.
Indeed, true Networking is about sharing with one another.True networking is also about Leadership.In Leadership you inspire, lead, mentor and help people achieve the next level.This should not be confused with Management.A Manager is someone who manages sytems and and very few managers have actual Leadership qualities!! When you do find likeminded people as Leaders & Mentors, hold on to them and learn from their experiences.The following says it al- " If you help enough people achieve what they want, then you will ultimately achieve what you want"
To Your Success
Stay In Touch -" Networking Is A Contact Sport"
Hi ladies and gents.
I'm new to this and only 19 years of age.
Very enthusiastic networker but in need of advice as to how to network correctly.
Its one of those things where one educates themselves but every successful person had someone keeping them going. A mentor in other words .
Whoever invented this platform is a genius.