Location is Key to Your Networking Success

Location is Key to Your Networking Success

At networking events, you need to appropriately position yourself. In fishing, you go to where the fish are or where they will be. In networking, the same logic holds. Stand where you will most likely be amongst people. Near the entrance. At the buffet or bar. Close to other high traffic areas. Just like in real estate, location is key to your networking success.

If you stand outside the mainstream of human flow (or worse, sit off to the side), you virtually eliminate your opportunity for having anything productive come from the networking event – immediately or ever.

Assuming you have positioned yourself appropriately you will encounter people. And just like a parade, from your position people will go meandering by. From here it’s easy to catch someone’s attention, meet their gaze, extend your hand and simply say, “Hi”. From there, you’re well on your way to networking success!

Overcoming Aversion to Attending Networking Events

Overcoming Aversion to Attending Networking Events

According to research, among people’s greatest fears are:

  • Death by Fire
  • Public Speaking &
  • Vacationing with In-Laws

Not far behind is finding oneself in a room full of total strangers. Even if you don’t fear that situation, you might NOT be totally comfortable with it. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

One surefire method to overcome the anxiety of being at events is to Have the Right Frame of Mind. While this may sound obvious, there are plenty of people who trip up their networking efforts before they even arrive at the event.

Remember that networking works, although not always exactly as you had hoped. Before you embark on the networking event, you need to truly believe that the process works and that your mere presence has set that process in motion.

While your mere presence is important, you will totally undermine your efforts if you bring with you anything but a positive disposition. Now, not every day, month or year, for that matter, can be a good one, but there is something good about each. Reflect on the positive aspects of your personal and professional life. Do what you can to be of uplifting spirits. Remember, while support groups can be a networking opportunity, most networking events are not designed to be support groups. So, leave your worries at the door, to the extent possible.

Finally, embark on any networking event with a sincere expectation of the outcome. It may not be all that you hoped for, since there is no guarantee that you will get a new client out of it. But know this – something will come from you being there. You might meet someone that can refer you or put you one step closer to a new client. You might reconnect with a former client or center of influence or gain a piece of information that holds untold value. There are a plethora of potential benefits that can come from any networking event. You will never get it all, but you will likely always get something.

Relationships Trump Knowledge

Relationships Trump Knowledge

As a businessperson, you need things today, like clients, information, and contacts. Guess what? You are going to need those things tomorrow, too. And the next day, and next week, and next year. And where will these things come from? One word – Relationships. Thus, creating and nurturing productive relationships is an ongoing endeavor. Your job is never done. 

Know this: Some days your networking efforts are going to seem worthwhile. On these days, it will be easy to keep after it. Other days your networking efforts are going to seem like a complete waste of time. On these days, you will want to swear it off. Don’t!

Have faith. Opportunity comes from the most unlikely places and it is all the result of the productive relationships you nurture over time. So, never quit trying to build Know, Like, and Trust.

To summarize, while knowledge is important to be successful at anything, what is vital is being proficient at networking. Networking is about building solid relationship where people know you, like you, and trust you. These things are achieved through certain actions and interactions with those in your network. These actions involve consistent generosity, reliability, and commitment to others, just to mention a few.

Make New Connections but Keep the Old

Make New Connections but Keep the Old

Whether you are 19, 90, or somewhere in between, you know more people now than you could possibly meet over the next year (maybe two or three).  Think about it. You know people in your community. You know people from high school, college, and your plethora of career moves (or those moving careers around you). You know people through your kids, parents, or family. You know lots of people.

While meeting new people is always an important part of networking, there is a tremendous advantage to networking with familiar names and faces – they already Know, Like and Trust you. That is a tremendous head start to productive and effective networking.

Given that, an important part of building your business or career network is to dig into your “now electronic” Rolodexes, card files, or little black books and mind your existing contacts. Reconnect with these old friends and acquaintances. Get caught up on their lives. Think of ways you can help them. Share with them about your professional endeavors. Remember to ask for assistance.

The “Know, Like, and Trust” is already there. All you need to do is capitalize on it.

Build Your Network One Relationship at a Time

Build Your Network One Relationship at a Time

Getting people to Know, Like, and Trust you is dependent upon human interaction. That is face-to-face, in-person conversations vs. connections made over social media. That said, remember to build your network one relationship at a time.

There is an Indian proverb that says, “An eagle that chases two rabbits, catches none.” This is true of relationships as well. You will not be able to develop lasting Know, Like, and Trust if you are focused on multiple relationships at any one time. In fact, the more relationships you attempt to develop at once, the less effective you become.

The point to this topic is this: As you are out being involved, do not feel the need to race about meeting as many people as possible … having quick, shallow conversations … collecting business cards and then haphazardly following up with a plethora of people you can hardly remember.

Rather work to have involved conversations with just a few people (and then attend another gathering and do the same).

  • Learn about people.
  • Invest time in who they are.
  • Be genuinely interested.
  • Conduct yourself so that when you follow up, you can do so with substance.         

By networking in this manner, your network will grow more quickly as people begin to Know, Like, and Trust you. So don’t be an eagle chasing two rabbits and catching none. Instead, build your network one relationship at a time.

Learn more about networking and AmSpirit Business Connections at www.amspirit.com.

Getting Involved

Getting Involved

An often-overlooked means of getting people to Know, Like, and Trust you is Getting Involved.

To be successful in any business or profession, you cannot just hole-up in front of your computer and work the phone. You need to shower up, brush your teeth, and get out amongst people. Find groups and organizations to join.

Know this, however, you cannot just belong. You cannot just be in the community. You cannot just be in the Chamber. You cannot just be part of the Church. You cannot just belong.

To effectively network … to develop strong relationships … to build Know, Like, and Trust, you must get involved. Roll up your sleeves (actually or figuratively) and lend a hand.

  • Be an officer in a group.
  • Be a committee member of an organization.
  • Be something (anything) more than just a name on a membership roster.

Here is the test as to whether you are sufficiently involved. Answer this: If you did not show up, would you be missed?

If the answer is no, you need to work harder to get involved. By doing so, you raise your level of exposure and demonstrate your level of commitment to something more than just you. When you do these things, others will not be able to help but Know, Like, and Trust you.

Learn more about networking and AmSpirit Business Connections at www.amspirit.com.

There is No Shame in Asking

There is No Shame in Asking

If you want people to Know, Like, and Trust you remember There Is No Shame In Asking. Call it human nature or call it the American Spirit, but we are hardwired to help one another. Certainly, the aftermath of the events of September 11 (or any major tragedy) make this abundantly clear. People will go to great lengths to help one another.

With this, the only thing that separates you from the help that you need is you asking. Dare to ask. Remember, if you are focused on giving and helping others, it is only fair that you attempt to partake in the same process.

  • Let others know what kind of help you want.
  • Describe the types of people you are trying to meet.
  • Explain to your centers of influence how they can help you.
  • Solicit people for information on groups or organizations where your ideal clients might be members.

Understand this, there is no shame in asking. If you are polite and appreciative of whatever they give (even if it is only time), people will come through. Not everyone, but enough to make it all worthwhile. Equally important, however, is this. When you reach out to others, you are in essence affirming that they have value to offer. It is a wonderful compliment. For that, they will be flattered. As backward as it might seem, they will Know, Like, and Trust you for reaching out to them.

Learn more about networking and AmSpirit Business Connections at www.amspirit.com.

Every Contact Has Opportunity

Every contact has opportunity

There are many factors that will help you when building a networking relationship. Key among them is getting people to know, like, and trust you. One factor it the Golden Rule of Networking: Give First, Get Second. Another means of getting others to know, like, and trust you is remembering that Every Contact Has Opportunity.

It is easy to dismiss someone as being of little or no consequence to us. We’re all guilty of doing it. Maybe it was a gas station attendant or a receptionist. It could even have been the kid delivering the paper.

Know this, however:

  • Not everyone will be your next prospective client. But everyone knows someone that might be
  • Not everyone will fit neatly into your network as a center of influence. But everyone is connected to someone who could
  • Not everyone is going to be chock full of useful information but you can bet they sure know a person who is.

So, keep in mind that every contact has opportunity. Everyone has value and every relationship has potential. Knowing this, everyone deserves and should receive respect and attention. Just as you would offer your best clients, centers of influence, or prime information source. If you consistently do this, everyone will Know, Like, and Trust you. And people who do not know you will want to somehow be associated with you.

Learn more about networking and AmSpirit Business Connections at www.amspirit.com

Never Stop Giving

Never Stop Giving

“How do I go about getting others to know, like & trust me?” In the world of business and professional networking, that is the $64,000 question. One answer to this question is Never Stop Giving.

The Golden Rule of Networking

The Golden Rule of Networking states “Give first, get second.” In short, if you want to get things FROM your network, you first need to give things TO your network. If you are not sure what you have to give, here are some ideas.

  • Give referrals or additional contacts.
  • Share opportunities.
  • Connect people to information, such as book titles, websites, and groups on Facebook or LinkedIn.
  • You can even give intangibles, such as encouragement and support.

Regardless of what you give, the bottom line is this: give, give, give! When you give to others they cannot help but know, like, and trust you. And, as a result, they will want to return the generosity. In addition, you will develop the reputation of being a generous person. This will inspire others to want to contribute to you, as they trust that you are likely to give back.

Giving is Powerful

Giving is powerful and should become almost a daily habit.

  • Share information with others and they will share information back.
  • Give referrals to centers of influence in your network and they will go out of their way to return the deed.
  • Help your prospective clients with things unrelated to what you sell and you will be forever on the top of their mind (perhaps referring you clients down the road).
  • Be supportive of your clients and vendors and they will rave to others about you.

Therefore, with everyone you encounter, ask yourself this: “In what way could I help them?” When the answers come to you, take action. That will build know, like, and trust like nothing else. And remember to never stop giving!

Learn more about networking and AmSpirit Business Connections at www.amspirit.com.

Creating Solid Networking Relationships

Creating Solid Networking Relationships

Creating solid networking relationships can be distilled down into three simple words: Know, Like & Trust.

  • You build relationships when people get to know you and you get to know them.
  • You build relationships when you get the people you know to like you.
  • And you build relationships when you do the things that allow other people to trust you.

Here is a simple reality – people (yourself included) do business with those they Know, Like & Trust.

You likely have the accountant, banker, or financial planner in your life because, all things being equal, you Know, Like & Trust them. In fact, all things being UNequal, you would still opt to do business with the person you Know, Like, & Trust. Think about it. If you have automobile insurance, there is no question you could find the same coverage for less. Yet, you stay with the same agent. Why? You Know, Like & Trust that person.

Know, Like & Trust is a powerful component of human nature. If you can get people coming to the conclusion that they Know, Like & Trust you (at a very gut level), they will more likely be moved to help you … refer clients to you … introduce you to centers of influence … and direct you towards beneficial opportunities. So, at the end of the day, know-like-trust is the foundation for creating solid networking relationships.

Learn more about networking and AmSpirit Business Connections at www.amspirit.com.