The thing we always forget about networking
Networking. Even the word can send chills down the spines of seasoned professionals.
It’s no wonder it fills people with terror – after all, it involves approaching complete strangers with nothing but a bare hope that no one will laugh at you, your ideas or your business.
But there’s something we all forget about networking…
It’s terrifying for everyone – not just you.
And, as long as you remember that, you can take advantage of it. Now, that sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? So just how do you manipulate networking to your benefit? Keep reading, you’ll find something that’ll undoubtedly spur your enthusiasm.
Be a success
When you meet someone new, you can be anyone you want to be. A good rule of thumb is: don’t lie. But that doesn’t mean that you must reveal your urgent need for more sales, or that you’re considering a career change. You can put your best foot forward and show off the brilliant parts of your life. When you approach someone confidently, and with positive words, they’ll believe you’re one of the most successful people they’ve ever met. Try it on for size the next time you’re stuck in a lift with a stranger – you may end up turning a new business deal; at the very least, you’ll walk away with a healthy, successful glow.
Benefit your business
Ever found yourself at one of those awkward networking events? It’s just like the nightmare where you’re naked in front of a crowd of people – or at least that’s what it feels like, right? Before you head off to one of these events (and you should try to attend as many as you can), make a mental note of all the things your business needs. As you work your way around the room, ask for ideas from the people who are all standing around awkwardly (as if they feel naked in front of a crowd). People are generally happy to share their tips, and they’ll open up more if there’s topic to discuss. Plus, you’ll have steered the conversation where you want it – on your business.
Okay, sometimes you find yourself at a useless networking event, or maybe you’ve struck an impromptu conversation with someone at the shops and it turns out all wrong. Don’t worry – it happens all the time. Sometimes people just can’t play the game like you can. And sometimes, they genuinely don’t have much to offer. Think of it as an amusing interlude in your life, and have a good time. At the very least, you can learn what not to do next time someone approaches you out of the blue.
Everyone is rather terrified of networking. You aren’t the only one. It’s one of the most difficult things you can do. But, no matter how scary it is, you still need to do it to get ahead in business.
At the very least, you could make a new friend – and no one can have too many of those.
Still not convinced you have what it takes to network like a superstar? Keep your eyes open for next week’s blog when we really break it down.
And, if you’ve got a networking nightmare you’re willing to share, please post it below. It’ll demonstrate that rock ‘n roll confidence we know you have inside.
This post is part of Networking month on the Rethink Retreats blog – why not check out these other great networking articles:
And of course do please comment below. You know we adore hearing from you!