21 Jul Networking
This is such an important topic that is under-discussed, completely misunderstood and significantly over-simplified.
What is networking?
Interact with other people to exchange information and develop contact, especially to further one’s career.
Did you notice in that definition there was no mention of sales?!
What’s missing? The fact that there is an ‘art’ to this whole networking thing. There is an art to networking, it isn’t a one size fits all activity. Extroverts and introverts operate differently. You interact differently based on who you are speaking with as well. Is this a business to business contact that could become a partner, vendor, customer or combination of all 3. Or does this person seem to be a like-minded indivudal that you can eventually bounce ideas with. Then there is the potential customer relationship. That’s 5 relationship types so how can everyone treat and be treated the same.
Where do we fail? Overselling!
Overselling the product and not engaging with the person in a networking environment. We have muddied the waters by having vendors at our events? Why because in most cases these vendors paid a fee and would like to receive at least that back. Will we at times be okay with exposure, absolutely. We still want to break even though.
There are 6 major keys to taking control of your networking experience.
- Understand your personality type.
- This defines how you operate
- Do some research of your personality and your opposite.
- Define your goals
- Sell yourself, not your product
- Elevator speech
- Relax & enjoy