5 Top Tips For Successful Networking
Author - Paul James - CAP Business Clubs
The days of the ‘hard sell’ has diminished. However, people still have a ‘need’ or ‘desire’ to buy. This is equally true when it comes to networking. We mostly buy on emotion and trust, so be the ‘go to’ person for your product or service by demonstrating your powers of knowledge, reliability, and empathy.
1: Listen Learn & Help
Pay attention to everyone else in the group. Learn how they work, find a way to help them and book some time to discuss further. This will demonstrate you have listened to their challenges and can help with a solution. Now, here’s the trick – Still do this process even if you are not likely to achieve a sale from it. Maybe it’s not a product or service you supply that they are looking for, doesn’t matter, your advice will be appreciated and more importantly, remembered, therefore increasing your chances of future business not only with the member you helped, but their contacts too.
2: Be Consistent & Trustworthy
Being consistent will establish you as a trustworthy and conscientious person. It will also be an indication you are serious about your business. This is extremely important for the long-term success. If you say you are going to do something, do it! If you can’t, tell them. Treat everyone with the same respect.
3: Be Open to Diversity
Be tolerant of those differences, of people’s opinions and approaches. Embrace the fact that everybody has a different experience and look for what you can learn from them.
4: Success Stories
Everyone likes a story! Especially with a happy ending. How you helped someone get out of pain, or how much money or time you saved them, how it made them feel…how it made you feel. People buy predominantly on emotion, and stories are the best format to attract new business in your group.
5: Have Fun!
Work without fun is just work. Be the kind of person others wish to spend time with. Who wants to hang around with miserable, complaining people anyway? No-one. Well, the same applies to your business (networking) world. Be the person who others can have a laugh with when appropriate. We all know the power of laughter and how it affects the brain in a positive way …Enough said.
The world around us constantly changes, including the business world …No-one can stop it and now changes are taking place faster than ever before. In fact, the next 10 years be a pivotal point where changes will be greater than ever, and it would appear the world will become a vastly different place. The next generation of technology is upon us, the infrastructure is ready to unleash a whole new way of being for mankind. Electric cars will become the norm, robots will be our personal assistants and the virtual world will become ever more real….and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
So, do you perceive this as good or bad?
Whatever your answer, you will be right in your mind, but if your answer is, this is a bad thing, consider this. Currently, never in history of mankind have the people of the world been so affluent. Our creature comforts are far beyond the imagination of our predecessors. Hot water and warm homes on demand, his and hers vehicles, 50” tv’s, gadgets for everything, choice of foods from all around the world. I could go on. I think if we were transported back just 100 years we would have the shock of our lives!
So, do we believe as human beings we have arrived at our destination? That there is no more to achieve or improve? That our generation finally made it to finish line?…..No, of course not. So why do we find changes such a challenge?
Mindset is the answer – Changes require learning new skills, often unfamiliar which take us outside of our comfort zone, which in turn makes us feel uncomfortable. So how do we change our mindset? Acceptance is the answer – The world will continue to change whatever your views are. The more you accept this the easier it will be to thrive going forward.
Some changes will seem like a bad idea and some of them will be. Remember, everything we have achieved up to now is not necessarily the best thing. But changes will come so the best way forward is to accept and even embrace them. And keep this in mind – There will be countless opportunities for you, if you just look.
A big up for Zoom!
There is a myriad of articles currently circulating on social media platforms regarding ‘Zoom Fatigue’ and pretty much everything that is wrong with online meetings, of which some I agree with in general….to a point. We all know you simply cannot beat live meetings and as human beings we are designed/programmed to interact with one another in a social environment. 2020 has been a transformational year and especially for business owners around the Globe. Online meetings have replaced most of the face to face meetings out of necessity rather than choice. However, speaking as someone who had never heard of Zoom, or any of the other online platforms for that matter before the pandemic, my personal experience has been a mixed bag of conclusions.
I run Business Networking Clubs. These are traditionally live meetings, relying on human face to face interaction for their success. I am speaking from personal experience here, but I believe online meetings were relatively painless to adapt to and will have a place in the business world going forward, long after the pandemic has passed.
Let us take a quick look at some of the pros for the online platforms.
First and foremost, it has allowed businesses to continue holding vital meetings, and I am sure many people would agree that it is a surprisingly good second best. Then there is the convenience side, with less travelling time which is also good for the environment as well as our pockets! Another thing to consider, and this is potentially a big one – Geographical boundaries have been removed for many business owners, allowing them to expand with minimal costs. Also, with the obvious time saving aspects, it allows for more meetings, which to be honest could be the reason many are complaining of Zoom fatigue.
I am sure there are plenty more advantages not written here, and I am aware online meetings are not for everyone. I just thought amongst all the negative vibes I would point out the good stuff. Of course, I would defend Zoom, it saved my business and for that I am very grateful, especially as my other business fell down.
Paul James - CAP Business Clubs