Never Pitch To Them In The Bathroom & 5 Other Networking Tips
Note from Kim: I do a great deal of networking and CCM gets many referrals that are based in relationships founded in networking. I get questions about the “how” and “why” of networking all the time, so I thought I would let Early explain his viewpoint to you. Enjoy!
We all have to do it, some hate to do it but fewer people know how to do it! It’s call networking and for some, it is the ultimate ‘dirty word’. Why? We are usually intimidated when we walk into a room of strangers with a hand full of business cards. We don’t know who to talk to first, we don’t have any idea of what we want out of the experience and most importantly, we don’t know what the other person is after. It boils down to knowing your audience and knowing how you can deliver what they REALLY want. Realistically, everybody has a need that they want filled. Here are a few points to remember as you go to your next ‘Networking Event’.
(1) As a rule of thumb, keep conversations to a minimum in the bathroom: I don’t know about you, but I am usually not in the mood to discuss a sale as I exit a stall. I’m more concerned with washing my hands and getting out. But time after time, I have been approached by an eager networker to get the jump on me. No thanks, let’s chat over the buffet.
(2) Do not start off too ‘Joe’: This is so offensive. When someone walks up and begins joking and talking as if you guys were high school buddies. The real purpose of networking is not to make best friends. It is to provide an introduction to another level of service and resources. So take it slow and respectful.
(3) You have no ability to communicate your own business: You know the question is coming; “What do you do?” but really what they are asking is; “Why should I care?” When you open your mouth be prepared to answer the latter FIRST! People care less about your mission statement or projections; they only care about what you can do for their business. Since you know this is coming…why not practice your answer before you get there?
(4) Do not become cannibalistic: We’ve seen them at all kinds of events. The ‘man eater’ that has a pocket full of everyone’s cards and will stalk them until they refuse their phone calls. Do not enter the event licking your lips like it is dinner time. People avoid people who seem too hype. So relax and enjoy meeting new business people.
(5) Asking for referrals for no reason: Just like the above point, people are usually in business for profit. It’s called (WIIFM) or “What’s in it for me?” So when you connect with a person, show them the true value of know you and then you can with bold confidence ask them to refer you to their friends and family. You have to develop credibility FIRST!
(6) Do not always be the friend in need and never in deed: This is the ultimate turn-off! People will begin to recognize your number on caller id and avoid you like you have leprosy! So do not put people in that position. Instead of calling to ask for things, try calling with an offer, a gift or even just to let them know you got a hot tip from an email they may benefit from. Your reputation will grow as dependable ‘barter’ and then your phone will start to ring.
Enjoy these tips and remember, “you can do bad all by yourself or you can connect to a dream team and created wealth.” The choice is yours.
See you at the TOP!
Chief Empowerment Officer and Founder, New Direction Coaching Associates