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.