However much you want to build your business, when you are networking the focus shouldn’t be on YOU….
If you find yourself in the spotlight at a networking event, then beware – because it’s not your chance to show off or dazzle others with your brilliance.
- You talk about the awards you have won
- You actually bring awards with you to show them off
- Your favourite word is “me”
- You never ask questions about anyone else
- You interrupt people
- You don’t listen when other people talk
- You talk for longer than your allotted time, by a mile
- You boast about your clients or your income
- You’re constantly checking for more interesting or new peeps to bore about how wonderful you are
Brian Butcher (of the Fruit Tree) talks about networking as “creating a network of trusted advocates to keep me in business.”
So it’s not all about me, me, me: it’s about us, us, us.
How to Shine without Dazzling
If you want to make friends and influence people in all the right ways at networking events, think about turning the spotlight onto the people you meet:
- Give people your full attention when they are talking: turn your phone off!
- Ask questions to find out more about them and be genuinely curious about what they say
- Remember people’s names and use it to introduce them to other people
- Sing the praises of people you know and their amazing business
- Ask people about things they said the last time you met – they will be amazed you remembered
Giving Your Best
You will be amazed at what you’ll learn if you shut up and listen at a networking event. People will easily share their problems with you (great market research) and even if you can’t solve that problem yourself, you may just know someone who can.
- Recommend people or products that can help their business to grow
- Share articles that relate to something they said when you met – imagine the impact of an email saying “last time we met you said… and I saw this article and thought of you”
- Suggest other networks to attend that might suit their target clients or their niche
“To listen well is as powerful a means of influence as to talk well”