The 10 commandments of Networking – part 1

… how to have fun and be effective at the same time while networking



Hi there!

Remember this?

Step 1: “Hey I’m going to a networking event to get me some clients! hell yeah!”

Step 2: You arrive alone – you do not know anybody – your heart is beating fast – your hands are sweaty – your self-esteem is below zero – your natural charm has run off – everybody seems to know each other and it looks like all of them are best friends and you do not belong…

Step 3: You hide behind the bar or in the toilet
Step 4: You go home – with a lot of business cards (your own!) and feel frustrated because nobody talked to you and you did not get 1 client
Step 5: “I am never ever going to any network event – no way!”

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:

  1. 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? …

  1. 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…

  1. 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.”

  1. 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.

  1. 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!

love to hear your thoughts, questions, worries, ideas… contact me +32.478.39.02.69 or leave a reply below

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