Networking's all about going over to people you don't know and building up relationships. Sounds easy but for many it's not, so I would like to share some tips and techniques. It's premium time away from existing clients and building your business, it's also the platform at which to sell at a later date, and the key is to be front of mind.It's not being the most interesting person in the room, research tell us that the people who are genuinely interested rather than being interesting are the ones that create the most openings in the room.Networking sits at three levels: Knowing, Liking and Trusting. This will not always work just going to a meeting once - plan to attend the same venue a number of times.What it does for you - confidence building - it's great when you get a lead that builds into business, it provides access to new industry ideas, allows you to go deeper with existing contacts and clients, develop your referrals, and networking allows new friends and support systems.Networking scares people! It's up there with fears such as public speaking, death and taxes. Research touches on: how do I walk into a room full of strangers, how do I keep the conversation interesting, how do I break the ice, how do I move from small talk to business, how do I get rid of the boring people (oops sorry but we all think it!) how and when do I make a follow up call?16Network She I Autumn/Winter 2012NETWORKING Hypnotist and personal development coach
Trish Swinscoe Brent gives advice on how to take
the fear out of networkingNetworking scares people! It's up there with fears such as public speaking, death and taxesPutting a name to a face
We often don't remember them because we are wrapped up in thinking about what we are going to say next - write down ALPHA: make the first Approach, Listen, watch the words drop off their lips, (95 percent of names get forgotten in the first five seconds), Parrot, as soon as you say their name repeat it back i.e. " great to meet you Trish", Hook - look at face, name, nose... hook the visual features to the name. Attitude - go in there to get the names!
Top tips. Learn how to start a conversation out of nowhere. Practice this waiting in the supermarket checkout, waiting for a train, at a wedding, in queues etc. It's a great way to practice.. We spend 70 to 80 percent of the time talking and the rest listening. We have two ears and one mouth; try to use them in this proportion too.. Shop around with all the different types of network groups until you find one that suits the environment you are comfortable with, you will perform best when happiest.. Elicit as many invitations as you can, you don't have to go to them all but you can then be selective about the ones best for you, find out which ones your competitors go to and why, and what's effective for people in your field.. Set yourself some networking goals! Go with a purpose, rather than 'I hope I get something out of this'. Other goals can be: I want to meet five strangers, I want to give out XXX business cards, I would like to collect XX cards, I want to uncover XX business opportunities, I want to raise my business profile, I want to warm up XX people I have already met. I want to practice my elevator speech...stick to your goals, set a target and plan not to leave until you have achieved it. . Go prepared with business cards, flyers, leaflets and any other literature appropriate to your business. Make sure you're comfortable in what you're wearing, have a nice pen, folder, look and feel the part, elevator pitch ready, nice smile, firm hand shake.. When you walk into a room be a surveyor...survey the room for the four sets of people.1)those on their own, 2) pairs 3)open groups 4) closed groups of three or four (or more) from the same firm or friends. The open people are often the easiest .. Do you floodlight or spotlight the room? Spotlight is to look at the list of delegates and select those and target them, talk to those interesting to you, ask your host to introduce you if need be. Floodlight - talk to anyone, head for the open people (those on their own) get a drink, pick a route round the room so you don't just wander. Start with a simple statement of "Do you mind if I join you?" . When you approach don't get too close, use a bit of eye contact, big smile, introduce yourself, listen carefully to all they say, ask open questions, and take an interest in them first.. Small talk questions can include: how they received the invite, take an interest in them as a person: favourite holiday, hobbies, etc or use a 'statement question': 'Hi nice to meet you. Sorry my shoulder is a bit sore, do you play any sport?' In this example, I revealed some of myself and made myself vulnerable...better than asking a question out right.. Words create effects - the worst time to think is when the words are coming out of your mouth, so think of a script in advance, some great phrases in advance. A well designed set of questions are elicited to bring out a set kind of response and a set result. But take care to be in touch with your script so you deliver naturally. People have standard questions - "So what do you do, Trish?" - have a scripted response, to really get the key words and your USP home. Be careful how people perceive your occupation, think about the benefits rather than the title. You have 20 to 30 seconds to make that great first impression.. They will judge you on five things: 1) do they like you 2) do they rate you i.e. are you good at what you do 3) can they help you and sell to you 4) Can they pitch or use you 5) who can they connect you with... Mirror and match them, this helps build rapport, make sure you are using effective listening skills, make them feel important first, ask open and effective questions. Be prepared!NETWORKING without NERVES17www.networkshe.com