How well is your networking paying off for you? Do you secretly fear that spending valuable hours attending events is never going to give you any referrals and you’re wondering if all the effort is worth it?
You see, like anything, there is a skill to networking. There are people who seem to do very well and receive most of their referrals from networking, yet others attend every event but just can’t attract the same levels of success.
One of the biggest factors I’ve noticed is the
mindset of people who attend events. I’m sure you’ve met someone who talks over everyone else, doesn’t show any interest in you unless you are asking them who to make the cheque out to and frankly, you can’t wait to get away from.
This type of person is memorable…
but for all the wrong reasons. They aren’t going to be the person you think of when you want to buy the service they offer… I’m pretty sure you’ll give the referral to one of their competitors right?
Yet had they come along with the intention of
building relationships, connecting people and spent more time listening to you and showing an interest in what you had to say, you’d be left with a positive impression of them and you would likely buy from them when you needed what they had to offer.
As a speaker, networking will be a large part of your game. The more people who are aware of you and your expert status, the further your reach and the likelihood of you being approached for speaking gigs increases. So I thought for today’s blog I’d share some tips on how you can improve your networking skills which should help you to get more of those much wanted referrals.
If you’re attending the formal style of networking events that require you to stand up in front of the group to share your story, I’d urge you to practice what you will say before you arrive. The benefit of practicing is that you can make the best use of your limited time… and it takes some of the pressure off you when you’re in the room.
Passion and excitement
You are the person who is most passionate and excited about what you do in your business so let that come over when you talk. If you speak with passion, your fellow networkers will pick up on this and will feel drawn to you. You know how they say that when you see someone smiling, you want to smile too… it will be equally difficult for people to not be inspired when listening to you speak with passion.
There are so many people to fit into a short time that I’d recommend that you consider how you can make yourself more memorable to everyone else. Props are a great way to attract attention and even if people don’t remember what you say, they will likely remember what you held in your hand.
So, if you sell an online product, perhaps get a designer to make up a DVD or CD cover to showcase your product. You can buy blank cases very cheaply and by inserting your cover image into the case, it becomes a physical prop. Holding the case up while you explain the benefits of your e-course can attract offline sales.
If you are a Coach or Consultant, think about finding a picture that tells the story of the work you do for clients. Images are extremely powerful and as the saying goes… “one picture can tell a thousand words.” Holding up the picture while you tell a short story of a typical client can help people to relate to your words much more easily.
Listen with an open mind
I touched on this earlier but try to listen much more than you speak. Go into conversations with an open mind… we all make snap judgements based on first impressions but in a networking scenario, keeping your mind open can lead you to unexpected results.
The person you meet may not be the right fit for your business but they could have contacts that will benefit you… so explore any opportunities to connect and the universe may just have a little treat in store for you.
Can you see how the strategies I’ve shared in the blog today could work for you? If you are planning on using a prop at your next event, what will you use? How much time are you spending on networking and is it working for you?
Many people have told me that the skills that they learned from my 1 day Presentation Secrets events helped them enormously with their networking efforts too. Learning how to present effectively is not just a skill for speakers but will apply to other areas of your life including networking.
The next round of Presentation Secrets will take place in London this May. To find out more and book your place, I urge you to