Frank Agin, author and founder of AmSpirit Business Connections, shares the attitudes he’s adopted for making successful use of LinkedIn.
It is vital that you understand three recurring networking themes:
- The Golden Rule of Networking
- Know, Like and Trust
- Every Contact Has Opportunity
Beyond these, however, you also need to have the correct networking mindset, as attitude is everything:
- Believe It Works … Whether you believe networking will work or you don’t, you are going to be right. If you believe in it, you will conduct yourself with confidence and that will draw people to you. If you are skeptical of the activity or its potential, that will serve to repel people from you. Thus, BELIEVE!
- You Network Well … Remember: Everything you do is networking… Everything you have ever achieved has involved networking … Everywhere you go is networking … Everyone you interact with involves networking. KNOW THIS … You are much better at networking than you likely give yourself credit for.
- Be Of The Right Mind … Not every day is going to be a good day. As such, if you are not in the right frame of mind (and cannot get there), save your networking for another day … stay home … off the phone … away from e-mail.
In life, attitude is everything. The same is true in networking. Before you network, get the right attitude.
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 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 themselves up at networking events before they actually show up.
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. 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 is a plethora of potential benefit that can come from any networking event. You will never get it all, but you will always likely get something.