A Love Hate Relationship
Half of you are saying “Yay networking!” The other half are in between a groan and a yelp “Ugh networking!”. Over the past year we’ve done our share of networking, from formal networking referral groups like Business Networking International to what I like to call “Organic Networking”.
Formal networking environments can be really nerve wracking. You’ve got to know your elevator speech, be able to talk about your business confidently, go up and talk to people you don’t know and who may not be interested in your business! And trust us, this kind of networking is a necessary type of any business.
What if you could augment the formal stuff with something a little more….“organic”? Learn three simple tips to making connections easily. This kind of networking helps to make you a trusted advisor. A role that we have often developed with all our clients and a role that keeps our business strong.
Organic Networking is as easy as 1,2, 3…
So my method of networking is based on some highly reputable business methodologies.
The Bridget Jones Diary School of Networking. So you find yourself running into a friend while at a business meeting. I jump right into Bridget mode:
“Hi Emily! This is Peter, Peter is a rocket scientist and was responsible for the latestNASA mission. I met him last year at a client dinner. Peter, this is Emily, my best friend since grade school, she works at a Rocket fuel company. You two probably have alot in common that I know nothing about!!”
Pardon the silly example, but 90% of the time, I’ve managed to introduce the two people in such a way that they either have a similar career, hobby, or something else. It gets them chatting. Often this leads to a future friendship, networking opportunity, or even a job opportunity, and makes me a reputable connector. This might not yield an opportunity for me personally, but it often does!
Here are three areas to search for a connection:
1. Personal: Is there a personal connection you can make? Friends or family perhaps?
2. Work: Do they have mutual business interests? The same company, industry, supplier etc?
3. Hobbies: Do they have any mutual extra curriculars? Are they both runners? Do they go to the same gym?
With these in mind, I’ve had great success in putting the right people together, and became known as that person who can always find the connection. So what? Well, it helps to build a bit of a “trusted advisor” role for me. People trust the people I make connections with, and I dont’ make referrals where I cannot personally vouch for the services I’ve received.
The next time you are dreading a networking event, or run into someone at a party – turn it into ORGANIC NETWORKING, and think of the connection you can make: personally, career wise, or with a common hobby. (Click To Tweet.)
Until next week!