We’re often looking for ways to grow our business through business networking, the goal being to meet more people and let them know the value our products and services can bring to their lives and businesses. As Monday morning approaches you may be pulling out your networking calendar to look for upcoming events, planning to attend 1 or 2 events to grow your network. How about looking for opportunities to network and grow yourself and your business at the same time? This focused approach to networking and learning will bring you great rewards, both personally and professionally!
In the average business networking environment you’ll get the opportunity to share your elevator speech and your business card (or contact info in a zoom chat box), with the hope that something in that 30 second introduction will create a spark for the listener to want to know more about you. Many times the result of those quick business card swap and drop meetups is a big stack of business cards sitting on your desk (or zoom chat dialogues in lost folders on your computer) as they await the ‘someday’ you find the time to follow up. (I’ve yet to see ‘someday’ printed on a calendar.) Here are just a few of the many benefits you’ll receive from networking and learning:
- Shine Your Light! Attending a business seminar, workshop or a mastermind session will give you the opportunity to learn from the presentation topic and, often times, you get to share your ideas and opinions about the subject. Remembering that all things being equal, “people do business with people they know, like and trust” (Bob Burg). Investing your time at this type of event gives you the opportunity for people to get to know you, hopefully like you and begin to build a trusted relationship. When you can, offer additional tips, ask a question and be involved in the conversation.
- Build instant rapport! Since the people you meet also have an interest in the business topic being presented, you’ll immediately have something in common. A great way to open up conversation is asking “What inspired you to want to come to this event?” Listen carefully to their answers as they begin to reveal clues about themselves that may provide you the opportunity to be a solution or resource in some area of their lives.
- Throw Away Your Pitch! Instead of quickly jumping into your elevator pitch when you meet someone, make it your goal to ask great questions to find out more about THEM. In this way, as they will inevitably ask, “What do you do?”, you can respond with an intentional response that relates to who they are and what they are interested in. This type of easy going and natural flow of conversation lets you get to know each other in a relaxed way that creates deeper connections.
As you set up your business networking schedule this week be sure to look for opportunities to grow yourself while you grow your business. You’ll love the results!