Friday, March 24, 2023

How to Become a Power Networker - Third of Six Parts

What do you do when you’ve just met someone? How do you introduce yourself? How much should you say? Do you just bolt into asking open-ended questions? Practicing introductory remarks makes it easier to enter into unexpected conversations or get things going when you find yourself with people you haven’t met before. Responding in a way that shows others they have your undivided attention is very important. And getting the most out of every event you attend is the networker’s goal. 

Prepare an Elevator Speech. Some people are immediately comfortable striking up conversations with people they don’t know. Most aren’t. That’s why it makes sense to prepare a 30 second sound bite for yourself. It’s referred to as an elevator speech because it lasts only as long as it takes to travel several floors in an elevator. 

Your short, upbeat personal introduction demonstrates what you’re about and how you can be of benefit to others. At the same time, you should be putting your receivers at ease and making them feel they want to get to know you. Customize your introduction by having several opening lines based on who you are speaking with. A little humor can make the encounter memorable. 

Pass Out Business Cards. Always take a hearty supply of business cards with you. Business cards are the least expensive form or advertising available. Hand them out liberally. And don’t forget to get one from others. Your business card is an extension of you. It speaks and sells for you when you’re no longer there. Your business card needs to be attractive and easy-to-read. Consider including a byline that’s memorable and speaks to what you do. Include your e-mail and website address. And don’t omit your phone number. It’s really irritating for those of us who aren’t ‘techies.’ 

Put the Needs of Others Before Your Own. Your networking success can be measured by the meaningful conversations you have. When you meet new people, listen for their names and use their names when talking with them. People like to hear their names. It ingratiates you with those you’re talking to. 

Listen carefully to understand who they are and what is meaningful to them. Understand what their needs are and offer to be of assistance. Don’t offer unsolicited advice. But do respond with suggestions and ideas if the person you are talking with requests them. If you offer to do something, follow through. If you don’t follow through, it leaves a bad impression. 

Focus on the other person’s needs, not your own. If they ask about yours, then share those needs with them. As you build a relationship there’ll be plenty of time to ask others for help as needed. Networking is not about ‘tit for tat.’ You don’t do something so someone else will do something for you. You do it because you like to help others. Of course, it is nice when the favor is reciprocated. #networking #powernetworking

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