"How To Network More Effectively"
Ik trof in een nieuwsbrief een volgens mij erg bruikbaar artikel aan van de in Nederland wonende Amerikaanse business coach Stephanie Ward.
How To Network More Effectively
Before we talk about specific networking tips I want to address
a critical aspect of networking that is often overlooked.
Sometimes we are so eager to network that we don't stop to
consider whether or not we are investing our energy in the
Listen, you can go to all of the networking meetings under the
sun and collect hundreds of business cards while you're at it
but if you're not hanging out with people you can do business
with, you might make some new friends, you won't necessarily
grow your business.
If you want to grow your business by networking it is
imperative that you network with: people who are your ideal
clients, people who know your ideal clients, and/or people who
do business with your ideal clients. It's that simple. So
before you sign up for your next networking event, ask yourself
if it is a good fit for your business.
When you network with people who need your products/services
(or know others who do) there will be a natural interest in
knowing more about your business. Stop, not so quick - the
story of you and your business comes later. First, let's walk
through what happens at a networking event and I will give you
a tip for each step.
Step 1: Meeting People
Enter the room with confidence, stand up straight and smile.
Look for a friendly face and introduce yourself. If you don't
see an opportunity to meet someone right away don't panic. A
sure fire way to strike up a conversation is to get in a line
(to sign in, for food, for drinks, for the restrooms). You can
also approach the person hosting the event and ask for an
introduction. In addition, if the list of attendees is
available prior to the meeting you can identify someone you
would like to meet and approach someone to ask if the person
you are looking for is at the meeting.
Step 2: Getting to Know People - The Ed Principle
Instead of trying to be interestING (focusing on the 'ing') be
interestED (focus on the 'ed') in the person you are talking
with. You don't have to worry about what you will say (except
for your brief pitch which comes later). In fact, you can make
it a goal to talk as little as possible, I promise you will be
remembered as a marvelous conversationalist. Memorize this
phrase: 'Tell me more about...' and use it! Just relax, be
yourself and listen.
Step 3: Giving First
Yes I know, the reason you are networking in the first place is
because you want to get something. You want to meet more of
your ideal clients and meet people who can refer to your ideal
clients. But don't forget, networking is a two way street. It
is about building relationships. I know you have something
interesting to share, so why not give first? Perhaps you can
recommend a great book or website, share an article, or maybe
you can make a valuable introduction.
Step 4: Your Perfect Pitch
Eventually the person you are talking with may ask you what you
do, so be ready! Don't ramble on about how long you have been
in business or how your business process works. Do prepare a
fabulous, short, and memorable pitch (10-30 seconds long) that
clearly communicates what you do and for whom you do it.
Step 5: Ending a Conversation
Remember, all conversations must end at some point so don't be
afraid to politely excuse yourself and thank the person for her
time. Reasons to wrap up can include going to get another
drink, something to eat, going to the restroom, or needing to
talk with someone before they leave. Whatever the reason, be
honest and be genuine.
Step 6: Follow Up and Follow Through
This one is so simple and important yet somehow it frequently
gets ignored. If you promise to do something (call, send an
article, make an introduction) do it!
Think about making use of these networking tips the next time
you plan to do some networking. The truth is people do
business with people they know, like, and trust. This occurs
over time and is all about building relationships, not about
collecting business cards. Be yourself, be real and have fun!
(c) 2005 Stephanie Ward
Life & Business Coach Stephanie Ward helps business owners
set their profits on fire! Grab your free monthly profit
tips plus bonus report at: http://www.fireflycoaching.com