Some people find networking to be hard and sometimes even, unsavory. It feels like you are trolling through a group of strangers just trying to find someone that can help your business interests. And frankly, if that is how you are doing it (most people are), then it IS hard and possibly unsavory!
But there is a better way. And if you do this kind of networking, it’s fun and much easier. Think of it as “You First” Networking.
The next time you are involved in some networking event, survey the room and find a person you want to meet. When you go to shake their hand, make the mental shift that you want to help THEM find business. So as the conversation starts, you are going to need to find out everything you can about them so you can give them good leads and referrals.
It might go like this:
“Hi, I’m Kirby Hasseman.”
“I’m Jane Smith.”
“Nice to meet you Jane! What do you do?”
Now you will want to learn more about them in order to better help THEM grow their business. Here are some questions to get them talking.
“Wow! How did you get involved in that line work? Where did you study? Where do you look for work? Are you looking for clients now?”
You will need to be genuinely interested in the answers! Pay attention and you will be pleasantly surprises all you will learn. Now consider your mental Roledex and how you can help this person. Who do you know that you might be able to introduce them to to help their business?
“Jane, have you met John Contractor? You two might be able to partner on some projects to help you both grow you business.”
You have decided to GIVE in your networking before you receive. It not only makes you more credible, but more likeable. And not only that, most people will be very interested in reciprocating by giving you credible leads as well. As a matter of fact, they will likely want to do business with you themselves, if they can!
This type of Networking makes the process easier. It also creates more long-term relationships, which is exactly the kind you want if you want a long-term successful business!