I was reminded recently how much I love Intimate Networking. I was invited to a potluck get together with a group of amazing women I have networked with over the past few years. It was an evening of good food and wine, fun music, big laughs and great conversation about anything and everything.
Spending time with people in a non-formal networking atmosphere allows everyone to let down their guard and just “be”. There is no shuffling of business cards or flyers and no scripted pitches. It’s just people with people, being who they are in the real world and not a business persona. It’s a breath of fresh air not to be “on”.
Intimate networking is one of the most effective ways to deepen connections with the people you network with. Whether its a potluck dinner at someone’s home, an evening of drinks at a local pub, an early morning coffee, or nine holes on the golf course - spending some quality time with the people you...
In the past several few months my schedule has been full with networking events, a family wedding, out of the country on business, facilitating workshops, conferences, speaking, coaching clients,…blah, blah, blah! I love going to these events and being surrounded by people, but these last few months of interacting with others felt different for me. Very Different. Is it perhaps, I myself am becoming more aware in my journey of entrepreneurship?
I’m usually the person who gets in there, connecting, mingling and introducing people to others. This time, I found myself standing back just watching and listening. For years I’ve observed behaviour, conversation styles and how people interact with each other. I had no idea why I wasn't engaging and it felt foreign to me - after all, that is the premise for my work as a networking specialist and coach - meeting people and having conversations. I kept asking myself why does it feel so different for me?
Then it hit me. I had...
Have you ever been in unfamiliar territory when you are networking? I'm sure most of you have been, at one time or another, in a crowd where you don't know anyone and you feel completely out of place. I admit, in my career as a networking specialist, I no longer get blindsided with not knowing what to say or how to approach people. Well, I had that exact experience recently when I was at a digital media conference with my Mastermind Inner Circle Group The Mastermind City.
I was among 4,000+ people where the topics of technology weren't completely in my comfort zone. All kinds of uncomfortable fears and confidence issues began to bubble up and for the first time, in a very long time, I was able to re-identify and connect with the very issues that people hire me to help them with.
I am someone who thrives on networking, lives for the connecting and building relationships, I found myself in an arena of highly intellectual individuals who were...
I love to network. I love meeting people, finding out about what they do, who they are, what interests they have. I love to know about their families, their business, who they can help, why they love what they do and why they chose to do what they do. What I don't love... is "the" PITCH! That moment when you know someone really has no interest in getting to know you, but only there to sell you. What's interesting is the majority of people I network with or talk about networking to... don't love it either!
According to the Webster dictionary, the term "sales pitch" means a speech that is given in order to "persuade" someone to buy something. Since I could not find a definition in Webster for "elevator pitch", Wikipedia states it reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes.
In my opinion,...
Networking today is not the Networking of Yesterday. Networking decades ago consisted of a small group of entrepreneurs and their followers who understood the value of true relationship building. Zig Ziglar, Dale Carnegie, John Maxwell, Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, even Oprah, are just a few of the greats that focused on relationship building and have grown some of the biggest networks and businesses in the world.
They were and are the true greats…
OLD School Networking was smooshing for business. The old boys club-style networking that were exclusive and had the philosophy of “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine”. Much of the time, those were the days of only doing business with someone who gave you their business first.
There are still some networking groups that have that philosophy of industry-exclusive networking. I believe they do still have their place. This type of networking, in my opinion, is great for brick and mortar businesses and...
Why don't people network properly? An interesting question that was posed to me today. So I am going to give you "my" take on the answer. As a networking & follow-up expert (and the two go very much hand in hand), my opinion is that people are still going into networking events with the intention to "SELL" to the people at the event. WRONG! That is not why you go to networking events.
Unfortunately, Networking events often become a Pitch-fest event. Everyone is telling each other what they can do for them and they may not even know that person "officially". This is not the way to build a network.
When you go to a networking event with the intention to gain business for the people at that event you are most likely going to come home very disappointed. WHY? Because people at networking events are most likely NOT your target market. They are there for the same reason you are... To Get Business.
Selling people in the room is not the way to go...
It's Networking Day! You are headed to a promising networking event! You walk into a room armed and ready! You are in "networking mode". You have your elevator pitch down pat! You have done your mantras, your visualization for success and you have enough business cards to hand out to everyone in the room.
You arrive, you smile and have some great introductions, you hand out "ALL" those business cards, you head home after a fabulous event and.......... nothing! WHAT THE HECK!?!
Welcome... to the reality of networking.
One of the biggest misconceptions entrepreneurs have is that who they network with will be who does business with them. WRONG! Oh, you will get the small percentage of people you meet at a networking event that may purchase your product, or sign up for your service, but those people were already looking for your product or service and you just happened to be at the right networking event at the right time.
Ask yourself this question. WHY do I go to...
Have you ever noticed how the famous magician, David Copperfield, draws his audience in? He doesn't just stand up there on the stage doing trick after trick expecting the audience to be mesmerized with the tricks. He draws the audience in so they become mesmerized with him.
He courts them; he uses his eyes, his hands, his tone, the music to "date" the audience. He has the ability to make the audience feel like they are part of the moment and become part of his world.
That is exactly how you need to make people feel at a networking event. You need to court them, make them feel welcome, relaxed and intrigued enough with you so they want to stay and continue the conversation.
One of the things I find most intriguing is how many business professionals lose the opportunity to find the magic while they are out making important connections.
WHY? Because they leave before the magic happens.
Does this sound familiar? Do you leave directly after a networking...
When is the last time you went to a networking event and actually had a meaningful conversation with someone? All too often, people go to a networking event, with the intention of “getting” business and NOT making Connections. I too have been at fault of this myself.
When I first started networking, my perception of what networking meant, was to get my business cards into the hands of every person attending that event. I would walk in armed with 2-300 business cards. I’m not joking. If that didn’t work I made sure I took as many business cards as I could from those that were there. How naive I was!
Networking, by traditional definition, is “to interact with other people to exchange information and develop contacts, especially to further one's career”.
However, we don’t live in a traditional environment today and the thinking of the “old boy’s club” is diminishing. People are...
You have a networking event to go to and you know you need to be networking to meet new people, to continue building those business relationships and that networking is key to building your business. And there you are: not wanting to go!
I love to network. I love to meet people. I love to connect people. That is the reason why I started a networking coaching business. Yet, even as an expert networker, I have those rare times when I feel like staying home. I just feel like cuddling up on the couch to watch an episode of Suits on Netflix.
Don't beat yourself up if that urge to skip an event flashes through your mind. Do, however, make sure you don't let that urge win. Take charge of your thoughts. Give your head a shake and think for a moment what opportunity you might be missing out on if you don't go to that event.
This it exactly what happened to me this week. I was getting ready to go out to a networking event when that little voice in the...