Networking is the daily currency of an entrepreneur. For some of us networking is fun, but for others it’s a struggle. And I get it, the whole introvert/extrovert thing. But let’s face it, without networking it’s hard to find a consistency of clients.
I’m an introvert myself, but I was able to overcome my anti-socialness (if that’s even a word), and it made all the difference in helping me to grow my clientele within my business. There are several “dos and don’ts” when networking, but today we’ll focus on 5 tips for conversion networking.
1. Listen First
People love to talk about themselves, so let them talk. Starting a conversation with intentions of being a great listener, allows you to make better connections with others. You’re able to get a better understanding of who they are and what their business is about. It also allows you to direct the conversation and easily find common interests with one another.
2. Provide Value
Give before you ask. Being a great resource for others, makes you a valuable person. You should always share your purpose, rather than your passions when networking. Purpose is a more wholesome topic, it describes your service to humanity and your reason for existence. It’s a powerful way to make genuine connections with others because you’re sharing something so personal, yet inspiring and intriguing. It creates admiration of your character over your accomplishments. Remember, your passion is for you, your purpose is for others.
3. Follow Up
Once the networking event is over, the social setting is gone, and the high emotions has wore off, people forget to reconnect with the people they’ve met. This is a BIG mistake that most people make. Always take the initiative to reach out via email, phone, or social media to reconnect. This is KEY in converting networking into a relationship.
4. Create Trust
It takes time to gain someone’s trust, but a second to destroy it. Good character and authenticity, amongst other characteristics creates trust. When discussing your capabilities, clientele, and accomplishments be honest and transparent. We all have long-term goals for our businesses to be super successful, and if you’re not at that point yet, it’s okay. Demonstrate respect, show loyalty, clarify any expectations, practice accountability and keep your commitments. Staying consistent with these attributes and your network will likely entrust you for your services.
5. Build Relationships
The saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” and neither are relationships. Stay in touch with the people you’ve networked with, weeks and months after you’ve connected with them. Ask them how’s business and how their day is going. Schedule a meet-up date with them for coffee, lunch, or even dinner. If you happen to follow them on social media, like/comment on their posts and celebrate their successes. Show that you actually care and make friends.
Whether networking virtually and/or in-person is up to you, just make sure you’re out there connecting with others. And remember, people work with who they know, like and trust.
As always, “Stay Intuitive!”