In Part 1 we looked at the importance of business cards and how to be a farmer when it comes to networking for your business. Part 2 covers G to L.
Ready? Let’s go …..
G is for Go The Extra Mile
Once you’ve settled into a networking group, does your business lend itself to helping the group in any way? Yes, you probably won’t get paid for volunteering to print the attendee sheets or post social media posts on behalf of the group, but it can be a really effective way to showcase (subconsciously) what you and your business are capable of.
H is for Hunter
To quote George Orwell, “Four legs good, two legs bad” – the same can be applied in networking circles when it comes to hunters: “Farmers good, hunters bad”.
You never hear from hunters until they have something to sell: it may be a new product, tickets to an event, perhaps they want you to sponsor them. Hunters tend to do the rounds but will never commit: they will have a timetable of networking meetings to target (maybe one or two a day over a two week period).
As soon as they arrive, they are telling anyone who will listen what they want you to hear. Hunters can be aggressive salespeople (remember our D – Do Not Oversell?!). Hunters will hand out their flyers regardless of whether you want one or not. And guess what – you’ll not hear from them until the next product / event they want to push your way. After the meeting a hunter may even bombard you on social media, trying to over-tag you into submission.
Please don’t be a hunter. Its just nasty and won’t win you any fans.
I is for Introvert
Let’s face it, we’re not all natural social butterflies. For some, the thought of walking into a room full of strangers, conversing, eating …. It’s all just too much!
Maybe ask your existing circle where they network: could you go to your first meeting with someone you already know, perhaps as a guest of an existing member?
Try to break down what it is that you’re most anxious about. Breaking down the problem can help to lead towards a solution: is it the initial walking over the threshold? Perhaps the thought of standing up and delivering a 60 second pitch is keeping you away?
With a little bit of work, research and forward- thinking, even the most introverted business owners can generate success from networking.
Introverts, look away now as we move on to J …….
J is for JFDI!
I have to confess, I am more of a JFDI type than an introverted flower. So what does JFDI stand for?
Just F*****g Do It – that’s what!
Once a decision has been made, or a seed of an idea sown, your average JFDI person doesn’t tend to over-think, or break down their options. As it says on the tin, we just JFDI.
A new hobby? We’ll go out and buy all the kit before we change our mind. A new networking opportunity? Let’s go, and let’s go now.
Not all JFDI people are screaming extroverts but reaching beyond the comfort zone can be a good thing (unless you’re talking about sky-diving, in which case you can jog on, sunshine!)
Whether you’re an introverted I, or more of a JFDI, you will need to focus on your K ……
K is for Know Your Audience
You may be in a very fortunate position to have household names amongst your client base. Yes, this is excellent for your business: a testimonial on your website from a renowned company could win you business from other household names. However, stop and think.
Is the room you are networking in full of multi-national household brand names, or is it full of solo business owners and local businesses?
By constantly talking about the “big boys” you’ve done business with, are you potentially scaring away new business opportunities that are right under your nose? Similarly, someone whose business is more gender-specific (let’s say, for example, a nail technician) may find more potential in a female only networking group.
Every audience will be different, so again, shop around until you find the audience that fits your business.
L is for Listening
It’s always far too easy to talk too much. We all like to have our say, and perhaps when out and about networking, nerves can play a part in how much we gabble on. And on. And on.
Let someone else talk. Ask them questions and let them answer. Yes, the art of listening is fairly easy to master.
Listening means being respectful too. How would you feel if, when you stand up to deliver your 60 seconds, everyone picked up their phones and started scrolling through their emails. Give your vocal chords a rest, pin back your lugs and listen – you never know, you might even learn something!
Well that’s taken us (more or less) halfway through the alphabet of networking. Part 3 will be along soon, so make sure you’re around to read M – R.