Home-Based and Direct Selling Business Owners will often join a local networking group – some held over breakfast, some of an evening, and generally at a frequency around once a month or fortnightly – with a view to boosting business.
Over the years, I’ve seen way too many people invest in a membership then wonder WHY they aren’t seeing instant results. So let’s build your muscles in some simple skills to develop, and explore the 5 Cs for Successful Networking.
If you were to answer the question ‘Why did you join your local Networking group?’, notice if your answer includes responses along the lines of ‘to build my brand’, ‘lift my profile’, ‘create interest in my business’, ‘find more customers’, ‘increase my sales’.
You are absolutely right to have this intention of course, as all this and more can happen..…for some!
For others they wonder why, when networking, they’ve turned up to every scheduled event, they’ve handed out a lot of business cards to as many people as possible and there is still very little impact happening on their business results.
If this has happened to you, or if you are new to the experience of being part of a local networking group; read on for five valuable tips to lead yourself in becoming the successful networker you know you can be.
1. Get Curious
It’s been said you will always get what you want by helping others get what they want.
With this in mind, imagine the difference you can create when you are genuinely curious when meeting colleagues at networking events. Be interested in what they do. Ask questions. Listen. Get curious about who you might know, who would be an ideal client for them.
2. Get Committed
How committed are you? Are you committed to being an excellent networker?
Imagine having met a colleague over an interesting chat where you genuinely listened and asked questions from a space of curiosity and then – a few conversations later – you realize these two people need to meet each other.
You’ve individually chatted with a couple of different people who have an alignment with what they do and can genuinely be good contacts for each other.
Be committed to them both and introduce them, sharing why you think they have this alignment. You might have noticed something they hadn’t given thought to, or realized, until you spoke up.
3. Get Caring
‘Do you care about me?’, is an unconscious question asked by ourselves whenever we meet people for the first time.
When in conversation; offer tips, ideas from articles you have read, success stories, books you can recommend, share an ‘ah-ha’ moment you had in your own business or brainstorm something in the media that impacts business and you are keen for a solution for.
In essence; demonstrate your willingness to add value to conversations, versus an agenda to get your business card into someone’s hands.
4. Get Challenged
Challenge yourself to have a conversation with at least three new people at every Networking event.
Get out of your comfort zone and meet someone you may not yet have had a conversation with. Aim to discover three things you have in common. One of the building blocks to creating rapport is ‘alikeness’ , so get curious, get committed and demonstrate care by being genuinely interested.
This will help you to…..
5. Get Connected
You stepped up to be the best networker you could be at this event by being curious, committed, caring and challenged. Notice how you don’t stand there, anymore, on a mission to hand out the pile of business cards you use to have in your hands. Instead, people are asking you for your card. You are worth knowing and connecting with because the consistency in who you turn up and ‘be’ builds trust.
Trust builds connections. Connections build business.
It’s a fact – every business owner aims for better business results. Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen. Act on The 5 C’s for Successful Networking and make your local Networking group a rewarding place for you to be at every month!