… how to have fun and be effective at the same time while networking
Step 1: “Hey I’m going to a networking event to get me some clients! hell yeah!”
Let’s get over this networking fear and have some fun!
I have identified the 10 commandments of Networking – follow these when preparing for and going to networking events, and you’ll do fine!
In this blogpost, I’ll cover the first 5 commandments, in my next blogpost we’ll go over the next 5.
Here they are:
- Thou shalt set reasonable expectations
I meet a lot of people who think they will meet new clients and close some deals in 1 evening. Sorry to disappoint you, but that is just not reasonable. It might happen, but it is not common. So get over the idea that you have to do business at these events. So what is reasonable? Ask yourself, what would you like to get out of that event? Meet new prospects? Meet people who know other people? …
- Thou shalt understand that quality matters, not quantity
The purpose is not to meet as much as people as possible. The purpose is to meet a few “right” people. People who can introduce you to others, people who might become your clients, etc…
- Thou shalt ask great questions
In other words, thou shalt not talk the whole time about yourself and thou shalt mainly listen. People like to talk about themselves. But not you! not there en then! Ask great questions to encourage people to talk about themselves and their business. Make them feel good. Like Maya Angelou said: ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, … will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
- Thou shalt get over fear of rejection
Our ego can be one hell of a show stopper. So what if we get rejected, but honestly… never ever in my entire professional life I felt rejected at a networking event. NEVER. So get over that fear, it is not worth it and it will cost you great oopportunities.
- Thou shalt talk to strangers
I admit, I sometimes go against this principle too. I do not want to brag, but I know a lot of people, so when I’m at a networking event it is probable that I meet a lot of people I know and it is clear that I will talk to them. That is also the reason why it is better to frequently go to the same networking events, because that way you can really build a relationship and become top of mind. However, it is also good to try to meet new people. And one thing you have to avoid is staying with your colleague or friend the whole night. Ok maybe you went to a networking venue, but that is not what I call networking!
As promised, you’ll get the next 5 commandments next time!