To build a strong network of contacts that
give you referrals, contacts and information, you need to have a concise, yet
very compelling, 30-second commercial. The problem is that you have SO MUCH to
say and 30 seconds is really not a lot of time.
So to conquer the challenge of conveying
lots of information in a short period of time, it is helpful to have a
framework to work with. Here is an effective one:
Start with a basic introduction for yourself (this addresses WHO you are) …
Add to that a Message (which addresses WHAT you do) …
From there, you need to Inspire Confidence or create credibility (which tackles WHY you over all the other choices) …
Then you wrap this up with a Strong Definite Request of what you need (this is HOW they can help you).
Now, if you carefully draft each of these
sub-parts and then piece them together with your own personal flair, you end up
with a very effective 30-second commercial. For more, see Part 3.
Essentially, networking is about you creating
a series of relationships (also known as a network). The end game for you is to
get the network to help you. To get this, three things need to happen … Your
network needs to KNOW you … Your network needs to LIKE you … And, your
network needs to TRUST you.
establishing this 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 (name, business name, basic product/service) …
WHAT you do (along with when you do it) …
WHY they should do business with you or WHY they should refer you as opposed to other options…
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 sense, the primary
limitation to communicating all this (especially amongst people you are meeting
for the first time) is simply ATTENTION SPAN.
In somewhere around 30 seconds, you need
to effectively communicate all these things or lose (or at least risk losing)
their minds to something (or someone) else.
For more, see Part 2.
Towards the end of the
1940 Michigan-Ohio State football game, Buckeye fans in attendance at Ohio
Stadium made a standing ovation. That is not uncommon for a football program such
as the Ohio State University. It’s an enthusiastic crowd and they often show
their appreciation for a great performance.
This particular ovation,
however, was for the opponent’s star player. You see, Michigan’s Tom Harmon almost
single-handedly delivered a 40 to nothing loss on the Buckeyes.
No doubt you have
competitors. Some of them might even rise to the level of being rivals. Great.
If done the right way, this is healthy, as it serves to make you better and it
collectively heightens the level of service in the entire business community.
In summary, great people applaud
the achievement of others, even if they are competitors. So, when you see or
learn of a remarkable performance in your professional world, don’t be afraid
to let the person know. Recognizing them serves to make you a great person too.
Networking events are generally not opportunities for closing business. Thus, you may not likely get clients as a result of them. You may stumble upon a client. Know, however, that is the exception rather than the rule.
you embark upon networking at events, do not consume yourself with meeting as
many people as you can. Remember, meaningfully connecting is about the quality
of the connection and not the quantity. You are much further ahead in time to
focus on really connecting with a small handful of people rather than simply
collecting dozens of business cards.
networking events are everywhere. Business after-hours are networking events.
Tradeshows are networking events. Business parties are networking events … so
are social parties, tailgates, and really any gathering of people. Use each to
expand your base of connections, from which you build relationships.
Frank Agin, founder and president of AmSpirit Business Connections and host of Networking Rx, interviews Corey Kupfer, an expert strategist, dealmaker and business consultant with more than 30 years of professional negotiating experience as a successful entrepreneur, and attorney. He is currently a professional member of the National Speakers’ Association and an in-demand speaker at conferences nationwide, where he tackles issues such as corporate structuring, entity and platform design, mergers and acquisitions, entrepreneurship, visioning and planning, employee attraction and retention vehicles, and succession planning and implementation – in addition to his focus on authenticity in business relationships, deals and negotiations. You can learn more about Corey and his current projects at www.CoreyKupfer.com.
Frank Agin, founder and president of AmSpirit Business Connections and host of Networking Rx, shares thoughts on the importance of being dependable and reliable in building trust within your relationships.
Frank Agin, founder and president of AmSpirit Business Connections and host of Networking Rx, interviews Jory Fisher (https://joryfisher.com/), a life coach that utilizes a 90-second personality assessment to guide clients.
Frank Agin, founder and president of AmSpirit Business Connections and host of Networking Rx, shares a lesson on being in the moment from Coach Danny Creed’s book A Life Best Lived: A Story of Life, Death and Second Chances.
Frank Agin, founder and president of AmSpirit Business Connections and host of Networking Rx, interviews Bryan Heathman CEO of Made for Success Publishing (www.madeforsuccess.com). Bryan has worked with legendary Self Help authors Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn and Tom Hopkins. He comes from a Fortune 500 background, working for companies including Kodak, Microsoft and Xerox. Bryan is the author of the recent book, #1 Best Seller: Book Marketing Reinvented.
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 11th (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 from 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 job transition groups or opportunities to present on the benefits of franchising.
Understand this, if you are polite in
asking of others 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, 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 backwards as it might seem, they will Know,
Like, and Trust you for reaching out to them.