5 Ways To Become Better At Networkingby Sidd Pagidipati Inc. 500 Entrepreneur
It doesn’t matter whether you run a lemonade stand or a Fortune 500 company. Success in business isn’t determined by how competitive your prices are, or even how good your products are. It’s all about who you know.
If you establish close relationships with your industry peers, you’ll open up all kinds of new opportunities for your business. You’ll be able to attract more customers and make more money.
I’m Sidd Pagidipati - I founded Inventcorp and several other successful companies as well. I’ve learned a lot about how to work with people through my experiences as an entrepreneur, and I can assure you that these five tips will help you become better at networking:
In Dale Carnegie’s seminal text on human relations, How to Win Friends and Influence People, he gives the following advice: “to be interesting, be interested.... remember that the people you are talking to are a hundred times more interested in themselves and their wants and problems than they are in you or your problems.”
You need to keep your industry peers interested in you if you want have close relationships with them. Listening is one of the easiest, yet most effective, ways to keep them interested. Just make a mental effort to focus more on what the other person in the conversation is saying.
Leave your phone in your pocket. Maintain eye contact. Ask questions. Meetings have a way of being pushed pack and avoided, but if you’re a good listener, people will find a way to get themselves to your meetings. They’ll actually look forward to them.
Here’s another piece of advice from Carnegie: smile. Even when you’re talking on the phone, smiling has a positive effect on your social skills. It puts you in a good mood and makes you sound more confident. It makes people want to interact with you.
In The Office, Steve Carell’s character, Michael Scott, was usually an incompetent doofus. He got things right sometimes, though.
One of those times was in the episode “The Client”, which involved Michael and his boss, Jan, meeting with an important client that was considering leaving them for one of their bigger competitors.
Jan wanted to be professional. When Michael switched the setting of the meeting from a hotel conference room to a Chili’s, she was upset. She thought it was too casual. She was also upset that Michael kept making jokes and ordering appetizers – he seemed more focused on having a good time than talking about business.
But that casual, personal experience is exactly what allowed them to convince the client to stay with them.
You’re not going to make a connection with someone over shop talk and paperwork. You need to have a good time.
After you have that good time, don’t forget to follow up with them a day or two later. They’re not going to hold your hand and do it for you. You must look out for your own interests.
But Don’t Push It
No one likes to be forced to do something. If you take a potential business partner out to have a good time and then act like you expect something in return, they’re going to resent you for it.
Of course, you do want something in return. But don’t stress that point. Tone is important. When you send them a message to follow up, keep it friendly and casual. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
Created on Apr 14th 2018 10:59. Viewed 311 times.