Believe it or not, the fact of the matter is that very few people enjoy networking. Even the socially capable find networking to be a chore sometimes. For those who are shy, it’s downright painful. Network marketing industry aside, with all of the economic calamities these days, nobody can afford not to network! Here are some networking tips that will make your network marketing experience a breeze!
Work the room
When out and about at networking events, as a newbie networker, it may be difficult to have impromptu conversations with strangers. Whether you’re attending a network marketing industry event, a social networking event, or a business networking event, scout the scene ahead of time, if possible. This is one of my rock-solid networking tips! Find out who will be there. Discover existing friends that may be attending (more on this in a moment). Discover industry gurus. Discover others you’d like to meet. And prepare – prepare conversations ahead of time, prepare topics of conversation, prepare entrances and exits, prepare. Surely you realize that preparation goes a long way towards success. Of course, preparation to the point of memorizing a script may just throw you off so don’t go overboard.
Bring a friend. As mentioned previously, discovering existing friends to co-mingle with at events is profound! There is power in numbers. No friends planning to attend? Bring one! Ideally, your cohort would be more outgoing that you, will push you to meet people, and maybe blow your horn a little bit for you too. Pick wisely.
Most importantly, don’t be a downer. Be positive and upbeat! One-to-one networking tips become magical if you network when you don’t have to. What was that? You heard it correctly. Network when you’re not in need of your network! Meet former colleagues for coffee. Schedule a lunch. Reminisce but keep it positive – always. Talk about your entrepreneurial endeavors matter-of-factly, not as a sales pitch.
Shut up! Remember the aforementioned “first and foremost of many networking tips” – you’re building relationships. Nobody wants to listen to someone else talking about themselves, their sales pitch, or their experiences all the time. Take a break and build the relationship by giving others a chance to speak. Simply listen. Really listen. Typically they will provide you plenty of opportunity for you to help them. Life is a two-way street. Eventually, your helping others will help you.
Though there are different rules – and therefore different networking tips – for online engagement, be it on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or any of the thousands of social networking sites on the Internet, the key is to be no different than you would be in person. Err on the side of caution when it comes to how casual your written words are since it’s a lot more difficult to understand the context of someone’s words without facial expressions, body language, etc…even with a whole host of emoticons available! 😉
Getting introduced to someone may be a sure-fire way to connect with someone online that, perhaps, you may not have been able to otherwise. But don’t be annoying or you’ll lose that connection just as easily.
Finally, communicate. If you’re going to use online services to make connections and build relationships, do it. You will have to “talk” with people, update people, share ideas, and ask questions – just like you would talking to someone face-to-face or on the phone. The only difference is that the computer facilitates mass communication to thousands (or more!) of people at a time! And enjoy yourself. Though you’re masked by a computer, the real you is sure to come through whether you like it or not.
I hope these networking tips help you understand some ways that can help make a potentially painful newbie experience a little more bearable or, for the more experienced networker, provide some tips to hone your game. Networking is certainly an art, not a science. So get out there and build some relationships; put these networking tips to use and make your network marketing industry proud!
Best to you!
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