“I am really glad we met. I want to do business with you”. How would you like to hear a statement like that? It’s Easy! All you have to do is network. You can take all the great ways there are out there to meet, communicate, and make interactions into transactions but none will be as successful for you as networking. Nothing can every replace that face to face interaction that builds bonds between two people. No other form of contact is so strong to drive your life and your business to the greatest heights.
What is networking you may ask? There are many definitions, but it is simply connecting with people of like interests for the purpose of uncovering opportunities, sharing information and learning of best practices. You cannot do it alone. So it is imperative that one gets out and meets new people that they can get help with for information, contacts and business. You will find all parts of your life are filled with networking starting way back in kindergarten. You learn to talk to other people, learn from them and make connections that allowed you to make differences in your life.
The truism of networking is that when you talk to a person you have just met; you are not only talking to them but their network of hundreds of people too. You have got to be aware of that or you could make a critical mistake. Too often people look at name tags as they are coming up to meet someone. They see the name of the person’s business and they start to make judgments. They think “oh they are a plumber, plumbers aren’t going to be interested in my jewelry business” or they assume “oh I have already met several coaches or makeup retailers or whatever” and then they are already shutting down. They are already deciding that that person isn’t who they want to talk to grow their business. That is such an inaccuracy it almost takes your breath away. What a way to lose the very business you are trying to grow. They could easily have a friend or a sister or co-worker or any number of people that need to know you. But you will never meet them if you have already prejudged who is going to be the right or wrong person to talk to. Another point to consider in this matter is that what they are doing right now may not be what they are always going to do. And there very well may come a time when they too will become your ideal client.
Most people after they have heard the term networking from time to time get a pretty good understanding of what networking is. Some people though get a bit confused if you will on what is you should and should not do. You should be meeting as many people as possible. It is not about trying to see how many business cards you can give out in a certain time period. Yes, there is an exchange of cards that is important but more importantly there should be an exchanging of self. It is a time to start growing a relationship. It is not a time to be looking for a sale. This is hard for people at times. Especially at first when you are trying so hard to get the clients you want and you want to just get them as fast as you can. That is not how networking works.
To be the best networker you can be means you have to know the appropriate way to network. To start off, the very best way to network is to find out how you can be of service. What is it that you can do for the person standing in front of you that can help them grow their business? This is such a wonderful way to approach networking because it allows you to give of yourself and feel even better about yourself than you did before you started to network. Some people struggle with the best way to put this into words. Look into your heart and find what works for you. It may be “how can I be of service to you”. For others something else may work better like “what can I do for you that you haven’t been able to do for yourself”. Only you know your personality and what works best for you. The main thing is be sincere and be of service and see what happens for you.