Networking isn’t a transaction, or a series of transactions. You have to build real relationships with people over time to make your networking effective.
People who network with a view to help other people get incredible benefits from it.
We call it a”Spirit of Generosity”
When you ask someone to donate their precious time and attention to you by having lunch or coffee with you, you are asking for a big favor.
Instead, try meeting people for coffee and making the meeting all about them – not you. People love to talk about themselves, the same way you love to tell people about your business.
Ask them questions about what they’re working on and what’s new in their lives. They will blossom when you show a real interest in them. Maybe even offer to refer someone to them (using referron of course ;))
Then at a certain time in the meeting, they are likely to ask “But what about you? How can I help you?”
It’s called the law of reciprocity
Then you will talk about your business like this:
Your friend: But what’s new with you, Toni? You mentioned in your message that you have a new business
You: Yes, I am really excited about our new Training Business , where we are able to provide business owners with coaching support that could be potentially be funded by the government.
Your friend: Do you have specific companies in mind? Maybe I know someone.
You: Thanks! Yes, clients who we can add massive value to are in the fashion industry who have products that have the potential to be exported.
Your friend: I know someone at Fashionista and I think my old friend Bev is working at Zimmerman — let me refer you to her!!
End of Script
You spent most of your networking coffee time hearing about your friend’s challenges with her Flatmate and her subsequent move to a new suburb, but in the last three minutes before you parted she offered to make a fantastic introduction for you.
Networking is about building glue between two people — not about pushing your agenda down someone else’s throat, as tempting as it can be to do that!
Try easing up on the sales pitch in your upcoming networking meetings, and see how both you and your friend relax!
Networking is a tremendous long-term mojo-and-muscle-building activity.
You will get great ideas and moral support from your networking pals, and you’ll give them the same in return. It’s amazing how good it feels to give someone else good advice when they need it!