Stop Networking and Start Connecting

Let’s talk about how to build meaningful connections and authentic relationships. A.K.A.-networking.

By definition networking is

“Creating a group of acquaintances and associates and keeping it active through regular communication for mutual benefit.”

But successful networking involves your ability to connect in genuine and authentic ways. Let’s face it, we do business with people we like.

How many times have you gone to a local coffee shop to work? Most of these shops offer a wireless network for their patrons to use. Now tell me, what is your first step in accessing their network? That’s right you have to connect. If you want to gain access, you must first establish a connection. When you are presented with your next opportunity to network, in order to tap into the information, resources, and trust of a person, you must first establish a connection. Connecting is the gateway to endless possibilities.

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

 5 Ways to stop networking and start connecting:

  1. Be Genuine– Be sincere, show that you are truly invested in the conversation and your commitment to connect with the person. Give sincere compliments and be yourself. Truly connecting with someone often means you are willing to place yourself in a position of vulnerability by revealing your true self. This will open the door and invite the other person to do the same.
  2. Practice Active Listening-This means listening to understand not to be understood. This is where you make a conscious effort to hear not only the words that another person is saying but, more importantly, try to understand the entire message being sent. This is critical when you are communicating with your clients or customers. Look at the person, clear your mind and give verbal and non-verbal cues that you are listening. Provide feedback by summarizing what was said.
  3. Ask open ended questions-Ask questions that will help you understand more about the person you are speaking with, without getting too personal. A question like “How did you get into this line of business?” Is a good follow-up to “Tell me what you do?
  4. Use the person’s name-Learning a person’s name is one of the first steps in showing respect and building a relationship with someone. I like to use the person’s name at least 3 times in the conversation.
  5. Follow-up-what is the point of building a connection if you have no intentions on following up. A true connection will develop over time and eventually turn into a meaningful relationship, but you’ll have to make that phone call, send that email or schedule that meeting. Don’t just collect the business card, actually use the information on it to start connecting.

 

Join us for our next opportunity for you to connect and start building meaningful relationships.

Join us for Cocktails, Conversations & Connections onThursday May 19,2016.  Learn more

 

 

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