We all live in a culture driven world. We act a certain way in our lives depending on when and where we are. When on the job we listen to our boss and to the customers. When at a party we are more carefree with whom we communicate. Just like in the situations just mentioned, we act in a certain kind of way when we network.
If you are just starting out to start the process, there are a few ideas you should think about.
- Leave your prejudice at the door
- Dress to impress
- Think about what you are going to say before you say it
- Remember the purpose of networking is to build relationships that will help build your business.
At first it will be a brave new world and you will find yourself wondering where to start. We say start with the first person with whom you make eye contact. Introduce yourself, ask them what they do and don't run them over with a sales pitch! Be lighthearted and think about what you can learn and follow up with when you reconnect. Do not become a business card collector. That only leads to one end: Tons of business cards and no one wanting to do business with you. The culture is all about helping each one out with solid referrals. The only way to do this is by building a great relationship with everyone you come in contact with.
The culture speaks to the idea of working together. Now you will run into people that don’t get it. Take your time with these folks. If they truly want to refer you and want you to do the same, they will make the time just as you do.
The last thing topic we want to talk about is “knowing” when you are making your time work for you. There are a lot of time suckers out there. If you know the people you are talking to are not much more than 5 minutes wasted then don’t let them steal that from you. Don’t be rude but make sure they are the last people in the room with whom you speak. The Networking culture is all about building your business with people you Like, Know & Trust.