I set a challenge this morning about networking in the 30 Day Business Challenge that I’m running.
It brought all kinds of memories flooding back to me about an old fear I use to have around networking whilst I was transitioned from the world of accounting to becoming a business owner.
How I Got it Wrong
The experience I’d had of networking whilst I’d been in the corporate world had not been a pleasurable one.
I was quite often being one of very few senior finance women in a room surrounded by lots of stuffy old bankers and other accountants who all seemed to know each other and that I seemed to have nothing in common with.
Quite honestly I hated it.
When I transited into business I then thought I had to go to networking events to sell and that petrified me too! As an ex-CFO ‘selling’ was not in my comfort zone at that time.
How I Learned to Get it Right
But how wrong I was about networking! These are 3 tips that helped me to go from a being a petrified networker to becoming a huge fan.
- Networking is not about selling, it’s simply about building relationships. Asking someone to buy from you at a networking event is like asking someone to marry you on the first date; how weirded out would you be!
- Ask the people you meet about their favourite subject, THEM! Spend less time talking about you and more time asking them great questions and listening to the answers. You will be amazed at how quickly you will learn what their issues are which means you will be able to help them solve those issues faster.
- Approach every event by asking yourself ‘how can I serve this room?’ rather than, ‘what your can get out of this room?’. If you help others achieve their outcomes, your goals will get taken care of along the way.
Your aim is not to do business with every person you meet at a networking event but to build friendships and deep connections with them.
When you are known, liked and trusted by them they will refer their network to you and you to them and according to Nielsen a person is four times more likely to buy from you if they are referred to you by someone they know.Networking is about farming not hunting. Click To Tweet
So have fun sowing and watch your little shoots start to grow.
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As well as being a Chartered Management Accountant (CIMA) and ex-CFO with over 20 years experience, she has also worked extensively with small and medium sized business owners to help them grow profitable businesses.
She's also a certified coach, NLP practitioner, Metadynamics TM Consultant and contributor for Kochie’s Business Builders.
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