Friday, August 27, 2010

Don't network? Don't succeed! - Why attend events?

We go to
• Raise our own and our company’s profile
• Gain useful information
• Understand our market place
• Find people who can supply us
• Meet key people and decision makers
• Get to know what others do.
• Get others to know what we do
• Help others with their business challenges
• Find potential new colleagues

This list is not exhaustive. Consider for a moment when you don’t go all those potential opportunities you will miss. I say regularly, “If you don’t go, you’ll never know”

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Don’t network? Don’t succeed! - Building Relationships

The three key steps to building new relationships are:

1. Get to know more people by attending more events.
2. Start to get them to like you and build rapport and affinity
3. Continue past step 2 and build trust to create long-term meaning sustainable relationships

I believe the reason the word attracts such negative views is because many people simply don’t know how to do it effectively and more importantly ethically. This can result in rude and discourteous behaviour which includes people being too pushy or, if they realise you’re not the person useful to them they begin to look around the room or over your shoulder.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Don’t network? Don’t succeed!

The word network often strikes fear and dread into people or they immediately have strong negative thoughts about it. Manipulative, scheming, selling are just 3 words associated with this all-important activity. The irony is we all network from the time we start to talk.

My view, it is simply building relationships; either new ones or reinforcing existing ones. “I’m going networking once this week” implies you’re going to spend the rest of week sitting in a darkened room with no access to the outside world. It’s just communicating - be it face-to face, the phone or more and more through the computer. Social networking or social media, the phrases can be interchanged, are becoming the dominant method of communication.

As someone who acknowledges he is a little quaint and old-fashioned I fear for the future of inter-personal communication. There can never be a substitute for attending events, no replacement for the smile, the eye contact and the reading of the body language.

Friday, August 13, 2010

45 Golden Rules - Working the Room - Part 4

1    Look at the people and visualise growing business

2    Get there early if you are a guest as you will feel more comfortable when there are less people and this gives you a chance for time with your host.

3    Take a deep breath if you feel a little nervous.  Remember you are usually there for business purposes; do not waste the time.

4    Try to find out who your fellow guests are before the event.  This gives you a great chance to seek out people who you wish to meet and do business with.

5    Carry a pen if you are a serious networker.  This is your work tool for the night. 

6    Stay as long as possible.  You often find other serious business networkers staying on.  Those are the people you really want to meet.

7    Approach people and talk to those you do not know.  Other people will be as apprehensive as you and will welcome you with open arms if you take the lead. 

8    Pick someone who looks approachable – look for the smile and eye contact from them and you do it too.

9    Interrupt politely into a group and ask if they mind you joining.  People will never say no as they are there to network to.  Do not change the subject until the appropriate moment.

10  Rehearse the answer to “what do you do”? when asked.  Make it sound interesting and exciting; highlight what benefits your existing clients receive from your service or products.

11  Say “I help people to become more successful” if you are a banker rather than “I am a banker” when asked.  Consider the difference in impact on your listener.

12  Prepare subjects to ask about in case you are stuck for things to say.  Ask the other party about their job, holidays, family, their views on sporting events or current affairs. 

13  Remember constantly “givers gain”.  The more you give the more you will get back in return.  Create an “abundance” reputation rather than a “scarcity” reputation.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

45 golden rules to working a room...part 3

11. Say “I help people to become more successful” if you are a banker rather than “I am a banker” when asked.  Consider the difference in impact on your listener.

12. Prepare subjects to ask about in case you are stuck for things to say.  Ask the other party about their job, holidays, family, their views on sporting events or current affairs. 

13. Remember constantly “givers gain”.  The more you give the more you will get back in return.  Create an “abundance” reputation rather than a “scarcity” reputation.

14. Be first to offer your hand and shake hands firmly.  A limp handshake tells you a lot about the person.

15. Contact with the eyes is the most powerful form of body language.  Not looking someone in the eye on that first meeting creates the wrong impression from the start.

16Make the first move.  Greet everyone with a smile and a friendly hello.  Approach people standing alone.  This will be less daunting and they will welcome a friendly face.

17. Talk in terms of other peoples’ interests.  Find out as much as possible about them, it is the easiest way, as people love to talk about themselves.

18 .  Listen attentively first.  People will tell you lots of useful information that can be used to your advantage. This also establishes a rapport.  Talk about yourself second

19. Stay within limits if there is a free bar.  Drunk and disorderly behaviour can rarely be good for business!

Friday, August 06, 2010

45 golden rules to working a room...part 2!

29  Obtain other peoples’ cards always.  That is the only way you will remember who you met.  Record where and when you met those cardholders as soon as possible after the function.  Write down something of interest to remind you why you took their card.

30  Grade the cards 1,2, 3 with 1 signifying “this person could be very useful to me” to 3 “I’ll probably not get in touch”

31  Keep all cards you ever receive and file them.  You never know when they just may be useful.  They will only be useful however if you follow guides 29 and 30.

32  Write down on their card the day you will call so that the other party knows you are serious about the follow up.

33  Read the card carefully and thoroughly when you are handed it.  This shows great courtesy and interest.  Information on the card should also provide you with further questions to ask the person about their business.

34  Give your card to someone even if you are not asked for it.  It will serve as a memory jogger when pockets are emptied.

35  Have personal business cards if you are seeking a new job or career.  Don’t use old cards.

36  Wear your badge on your right.  As you shake hands, the other person’s eyes will naturally follow down the line of the arms and automatically see your name.

37  Keep moving!  You are there for work and to connect with as many contacts and prospects as possible, within reason.

38  Excuse yourself by going for a drink, outside for a breath of fresh air or, introduce someone else to a person when you wish to extricate yourself.

39  Ask to contact the interesting person(s) after the event and suggest a day when it may be convenient to call and make sure you do so on the agreed day.

40  Request a list of participants if it is practical and will not cause embarrassment.  This will jog your memory in case there were people there whose cards you did not receive.

41  Thank your host before leaving and then again in a letter or e-mail to show your appreciation.  Good basic manners are great for business. 

42  Ask for what you want when you meet the person who can help you.  If you do not ask you will never know if your request would have been successful.

43  Restrict the time you spend with one person or on one subject.  If you are believe you are establishing a rapport arrange to meet again after the initial meeting.
44  Stand sideways on so that you are able to see what is happening around you and you can introduce others to the person to whom you are presently talking.
45  Approach groups of three or more, it is easier to break in and they will welcome new faces and new contacts.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

45 golden rules to working a room

Did you know there are 45 golden rules to working a room? Here are just a few:

20 .   Spend some time with people you do know.  Ignoring people is impolite and they may be able to introduce you to someone new.

21.    Ask to be introduced by someone you know to someone you don’t know. 

22.  Ask open ended questions to get the other person talking.  Ask questions that beginning with Why? How? When? Which? What?

23.  Ask others to repeat their name if you did not hear it first time.  Everyone likes to be called by his or her name - it shows you are interested. 

24.  Repeat the name after the introductions and try to picture something associated with their name to help you remember it.

25.  Introduce yourself slowly and clearly ensuring that the person has every chance of hearing your name.  They will often be embarrassed to ask if they did not hear it the first time and it is vital that they know who you are.

26.  Listen to who they are and what they need.  Be a resource by offering help.  “I know where you can get that” can only be good for your business in the long run. 

27.  Develop a 30 second introduction that clearly states the benefit for the person you are meeting.  Practise this introduction so that you can say it in your sleep. 

28.  Think how you can introduce relevant people to each other.  You will be doing both of them a big favour and it can only be good for you.