To build a network that will help you reach your goals, your network needs to KNOW you, LIKE you, and TRUST you. If you’ve known a person for many years, they probably already tick the boxes for all three areas. But what about when you’re meeting someone for the first time? How much information about yourself and your business should you share? And how can you do so in a relatively short amount of time? This is the communication challenge in networking.
As you begin to establish KNOW, LIKE & TRUST, those you hope to add to your network NEED (not just WANT, but NEED) to have a firm sense as to…
WHO you are – What’s your name? What’s your business name?
WHAT you do – Not a laundry list; just a general sense of the work you do.
WHY they should do business with you or WHY they should refer you to others as opposed to referring someone else.
And HOW they can help you – Who are people you want to be referred to? Who do you want to meet? What information do you need?
In a networking environment, the primary limitation to communicating all this is simply ATTENTION SPAN. You only have somewhere around 30 seconds to effectively communicate all these things or risk losing their attention to something or someone else.
So, to tackle the communication challenge, plan out what you’re going to say, then practice saying it in 30 seconds or less.
You might feel that there is little creativity in crafting how you introduce yourself. After all, there are only a few ways to say who you are and who you work for. And if that’s all you’re saying, you’re no doubt right. An introduction is bland or boring.
However, when introducing yourself no one ever said you have to limit yourself to what amounts to a professional name, rank and serial number.
Prepare to move beyond the mundane. Share a little bit of what you do. And stop thinking that “There is nothing to what I do.” Give yourself some credit. Think it through. There is a litany of different where’s and how’s to what you do.
And with that, you add dimension to your introduction by being informative or educational. Or, you can really spice it up by being amusing or startling.
Your introduction is not a “vanilla or chocolate” proposition. Rather, it’s like Baskin-Robbins and you have 31 flavors to share.
Frank Agin, host of Networking Rx and founder of AmSpirit Business Connections, talks with adventure and accountability coach on how she built a thriving network and business simply by introducing people. https://bertamedina.com/
Stop and think!
There is likely someone you’d love to be introduced to. Maybe it’s someone in
your area. Maybe it’s someone in another region of the country. Maybe it’s
someone on LinkedIn. Whatever the case, it’s someone you’d like to meet.
But you don’t
know them. And while you’re not shy, it can seem a little … well … awkward
reaching out to a complete stranger and suggesting “Hey, let’s get acquainted.”
If this describes
you, here is a simple, but effective strategy for becoming connected and
avoiding all the potential awkwardness: Consider having another person act as a
go–between for you.
someone in your network who is already connected to the person you’d like to
meet and ask them to introduce you. They can do it easily via LinkedIn. They
can connect you two via e-mail. Or if it makes sense, they could set up a face
to face meeting.
case, utilize a mutual connection to bridge the gap.