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.

164) Do You Just Belong?

Do You Just Belong?

A great way of connecting with a passionate, diverse core of people is to become part of groups or organizations that interest you. To be effective, however, this should not be a loose affiliation but rather an active involvement.

After all, a productive network is built on mutual knowing, liking and trusting, and “just belonging” won’t make that happen.

While there are no definite rules regarding the appropriate level of involvement, there is a simple test.

Ask yourself this, regarding any organization to which you belong: “If I weren’t at a meeting or event, would I be missed?”

If you answer no, you simply need to become more involved.

If, however, your answer is, “Yes, I’d be missed”, then you’re doing great. You’re not merely a name on a roster, but a face, a handshake, and a smile that people can know, like, and trust.

Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.

165) Networking And Social Media

Networking and Social Media

While there was a day that some proclaimed the Internet as just a fad, others re-tooled it. They took a novel approach and made it so that we could all not just see it but contribute to it too.

We know this as Social Media, and it has completely shifted how you can discover and share news, information and other content.

Certainly, social media gets a bad rap as an expansive online rumor mill or coffee club. If you approach it correctly, however, it can be a valuable networking tool for connecting and communicating with others. While you should not spend countless hours reading idle chit-chat from others, you should make time each day to learning from others and contributing to them as well.

No, the Internet is not a passing fad. But you just might be if you don’t learn to utilize its potential.

Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.

166) The House of 1,000 Mirrors

In a far-away village, there was the House of 1,000 Mirrors. It was a magical place with dozens upon dozens of reflective glasses of all shapes and sizes.

One day, a happy dog ventured in, eagerly bounding through the doorway … ears lifted high and tail wagging quickly. The dog delighted in finding 1,000 other happy little dogs looking back.

“WOW! What a wonderful place. I will come back often,” the smiling dog thought.

A short time later, a suspicious little dog slowly entered … head and tail hanging low. To his shock, this dog saw staring back 1,000 unfriendly dogs. Completely panicked, this dog scampered out, vowing never to go back.”

Do you know what? You visit the House of 1,000 Mirrors every day. All the faces in the world reflect exactly what you project.  

So, what kind of reflections do you want to see?

Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.

167) Successful People Have Goals

Successful People Have Goals

Successful people have goals. They have goals for lots of things. Networking activity. Prospecting efforts. Sales made. Referrals made and received. And much, much more.

Successful people have goals. They write them down. They share their goals with others. They review them often.

Successful people have goals. Goals that, from time to time, they fail to hit. And they’re okay with that. Why? Because successful people tend to set goals that stretch them and make them work. As a result, they risk failing.

But successful people know that falling short of a goal is no great sin. They realize that the real potential mistake is setting their goals too low. Why?

Because successful people understand that with easily attainable goals, they may always hit their mark. But by always hitting their mark they are, in essence, leaving money on the table.

Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.

168) Don’t Sell

Don't Sell

Networking is about establishing and building relationships. It’s not really about prospecting or selling.

In fact, those who attempt to do business within their network before it’s appropriate, end up with counterproductive results.

The reality is that people love to buy things they perceive will help them. What they don’t love, however, is feeling like they are being sold.

This is not to suggest that you never do business with those in your network. On the contrary, you can … and should. This will likely be your best client base, as well as a great source of referrals.

What this does suggest is not being too hasty promoting business within your network. Take your time with it. Let them come to know, like and trust you. Once that happens, chances are they will want to buy from you. And then you’ll really never have to sell to them.

Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.

169) Explore Their Passion

Explore Their Passion

Without a doubt, networking events and other opportunities to engage people in conversation are great ways to build relationships. At times, however, the conversation can become a little trite. Same questions. Rehearsed answers. It can feel like Charlie Brown’s teacher talking. You know: Wah, Wah, Wah.

To break up the monotony, take some advice from American psychologist and self-help author, Susan Jeffers. In her book Dare To Connect she suggests that instead of the customary question, “What do you do?” consider asking, “What do you LOVE to do?”

Jeffers goes on to share that this twist on a traditional question “offers a better picture of the inside of the person instead of their outer role.” Plus, there is an added bonus, as the answer to this question will contain more raw material for keeping the conversation alive as well as fun.

Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Networking Rx: LinkedIn Debate: Quantity v. Quality (EPS 180)

Frank Agin, host of Networking Rx and founder of AmSpirit Business Connections, delves into the debate amongst LinkedIn users as what matters – the quantity of connections versus the quality of connections.


For more information on AmSpirit Business Connections and its franchise opportunity program, contact Frank Agin at frankagin@amspirit.com or visit http://www.amspirit.com/franchise.php.