Have you ever went to an event and purposefully go there to expand your network of contacts and friends? If you have, did you make enough contacts and engagements to really call it a day? Or did you create a bad impression? This list will guide you to network and connect with the successful people — the millionaires and billionaires. Many events are just actually networking events; unfortunately, most of us don’t take advantage of this.
There was a time when I was invited to speak in front of a sizeable audience. After the talk, I went on to my networking activity. As I go through the crowd, shaking hands and connecting, I was approached by a professional-looking man. Well-dressed and well-poised, he asked me a few questions. After his last question, we went ahead to an exchange of cards.
What a disaster!
That’s for him though, because as he tried to reach deep into his pocket for his business card, he took out more than a dozen of other people’s cards, and none of his own. Another pocket, and still, none of his cards. Whew. A minute passed and still nothing. He then decided to use another person’s card that he received, wrote his name, number, and business name, and he handed it over to me.
It was a bit awkward for me, but the worse is for the person whose name card it really belonged to — she was looking at us while we exchanged cards; while the professional-looking guy wrote his name on her card. Yes, a disaster.
This is not the first time that this kind of thing happened. In fact, many people fall into this tragedy. This may seem a small thing, but it is what stops some people from becoming successful and wealthy.
Zig Ziglar has implied that you can get what you want as long as you help other people get what they want; while Dale Carnegie says that becoming interested in other people will make you friends with them than making others interested in you. These two adages are key networking rules. One is to genuinely connect with others, and the second is to be helpful to them.
You can make more from networking events. You just have to know how the successful people and the millionaires/billionaires do.
Don’t be one of those who fail miserably at networking events. Here are some tips to make the most out of them:
Intend to Network
Your intentions are what guides your actions. If you plan to go to networking events, go there with the intention of making connections and friends, and not just because of something else. Many of those who go to events are looking for more connections and not to flirt or sell.
Having the intent of talking to others to expand your network makes you more relaxed and confident — two traits that will make other people want to connect with you.
You should also be dressed to kill — look professional yet approachable; this will impute the way you. Imagine meeting someone in plain tees when the event calls for formal wear; it will make you don’t want to connect with them, right? But dress is not the only thing: you should prepare your networking materials. Your business card, online portfolio, or online business card should be correct and updated.
Publish Your Best Works
How do you get others to notice you without approaching them? One is by publishing books or articles either online or offline. Having your name in books makes people want to talk to you. It implies that you know some or many things about the subject matter.
Whether you publish articles, blog posts, or books online or offline is a matter of where your target audience is. The main thing is to get your name out there and let people know you exist; let people know who you are.
Publishing your best works reaches an extensive amount of eyes, but you will have to make each one to the best of your ability. The amount of reach that publishing gives you can make or break your campaigns.
Do Public Speaking
Does the thought of speaking to a large crowd make you shiver? Don’t worry because it is quite “normal” — many people exhibit the same fear. Yet, public speaking is somewhat like publishing books, albeit for the smaller reach. The best thing, though, is that it is almost sure that someone will talk to you and that you will be able to expand your network.
Although it is not really advised to sell through speeches, you can “indirectly” sell and promote your business. Attendees and listeners will see your authority in your niche, and they will definitely try to contact you or even talk to you after the speech. So, booking more and more public speaking events will raise your chance of networking — higher chance of success.
Connect Your Contacts
In line with what Zig Ziglar said above, connecting your contacts to your other contacts also has its perks. For example, if you know that your contact Mrs. Jane Doe is looking for an attorney, you may refer her to your friend Atty. Zachary. When they learn later on that you connected them, they will reciprocate — when they hear someone looks for someone like you, they will very likely connect you to them.
There is an endless possibility when connecting contacts. That is why you must be proactive when connecting your contacts.
Your contacts also have other contacts, right? This gives an opportunity to connect with theirs, too. If your contact is not connecting you to their contacts, you may ask them politely if they knew someone who is looking for your services. Then, you’ll find gold there, too.
Another great thing about connecting contacts is that it keeps your relationship with your contacts fresh; that way, whenever the need arises, your contact will ask you for your service.
Keeping it fresh. Like that last sentence above, following through a conversation will keep your connection like new.
Follow through is important with every contact, especially the new ones. Meeting a person and having the time and opportunity to get their phone number or email address is one thing; talking and engaging them is another thing. What’s the use of getting someone’s business card if you will not use it? It will be a waste.
What you need to do is to send a simple thank you email or call the person who trusted you with their business card. This will start a conversation that may lead to something great. You can also send a book or some cards just to remind the other party that you met somewhere.
Most people love to reciprocate — “Do unto others what you want them to do to you” — this is the perfect adage. Now, aside from what we said above, it is also good if you can do something free for the general public. We’re talking about philanthropy here.
When people hear that you did something like raise funds and a foundation for cancer patients, they will love you. But, don’t do this just because you want recognition — this will burn you up later. Instead, search inside you — think of those things that you truly want to do. If you have relatives who were alcoholics, then do something to help that kind of people. There are so many things that the world need today. Do your part and you will be grateful for the network that you will have.
Be Someone Else
Remember that college hobby that you have: basketball, swimming, mountaineering, etc? That can be your selling point. Many great networkers do some hobby where they can connect with others. Golf, for example, is a great way for entrepreneurs to connect with other entrepreneurs.
Doing what you love will boost your productivity, and it will push you to reach out to others with the same mindsets. Again, even if your contacts don’t directly affect your business, their contacts can be your next greatest customer.
So, now is a good time to start networking like the pro’s. Many people are also looking to connect and you don’t want to miss any opportunity to connect.
That’s it. Enjoy networking and be the success you want to be. Oh, by the way, connect with us, too!