Most people appreciate the Power of Networking. 75% of all business engagements or deals are completed because of relationships or referrals. 75% of all jobs are found through relationships or referrals.
Yet most people have no clue how to network.
Here’s what Networking Isn’t. Networking isn’t going to and event and standing beside the bar talking with somebody that you know. Yet most people consider that networking when it is actually partying. It can leave you with the impression that networking doesn’t work.
Showing up without your business cards, showing up not knowing your elevator speech, showing up at five minutes before the lunch and sitting with your friends is not effective networking as well.
You have to be prepared to get the most out of networking.
I speak to college students on networking and have a presentation for students called “How to Get Your First Job and Keep It.” I tell them that hope is not a plan and that success is a planned event.
It is the same with developing an effective networking plan.
Most people want to hit Grand Slams when they network. They expect to walk into a room and get immediate results because they want it now. The quick fix. Well it doesn’t work that way.
Networking is a games of singles. One room leads to another room, one connection leads to another connection and then things start to happen. Most people are very impatient as they want instant gratification. They quickly abandon networking and go back to their old ways of sending packages to strangers saying their company would be perfect for them and that is not going to work.
The biggest pitfall of networking is to be Mr. or Mrs. Martini man. You’ve encountered them. The pushy person immediately asking for the order from a stranger. They come right out and say, “I’d love to do business with you,” not recognizing that most people don’t like to do business with strangers.
They ask questions like “Is your company hiring,” when you may not even work for a company. They are pushy and self focused and you want to leave their presence.
They do not listen, do not qualify the people and their attitude is all about “Me-Me-Me.” Avoid at all costs becoming a Mr. Martini man. It is character assassination and you will quickly damage your reputation if you had one.
Effective networking is about helping other people first.
You can get more of what you want by helping people get more of what they want.
My Networking Presentation is called “How to Get More By Asking For Less.” A lot of people think it is an oxymoron but it isn’t.
Give it a shot next time you are out there.
I speak to companies and organizations on “Networking Your Way to New Business.” If you would like to discuss having me speak to your company or organization please e mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website at www.hankblank.com where you can purchase my audio Networking CD. You will learn a lot.
More in the next issue on developing an effective networking plan.