Networking isn’t easy. If it was, everyone would do it and not have any anxiety about it. However, it is a necessary “evil” in order to grow your contact list, which in turn, can help you grow your business. You probably know the basics, but here are a few helpful reminders about mastering the N word – networking.
It’s Not All About You
Former NFL player and PACC founder, John Bronson, likes to say, “no drive by networking.” That means don’t be the person just handing out business cards hoping someone will contact you. It won’t work. When you meet people, try asking them what type of contacts they’re looking to make and help them. They’ll remember you for it and most likely will reciprocate.
Dress Appropriately for the Event
We are judged by how we look. Whether that is fair or not, that is reality. If the event is at an upscale restaurant, wearing a tee shirt and jeans will not do you any favors. Even if you work in an industry where casual is the norm, you are looking to make professional connections – potential clients. Your image is a reflection of your work style. You may be the best at what you do, but if you look like you can’t be bothered by your appearance, that reflects poorly.
Be Honest About Your Expertise
Let’s say you’re a realtor specializing in the Southeast Valley. You know all of the best school districts, restaurants and amenities it has to offer. You meet someone who wants to move to Central Phoenix. The potential commission is tempting, but don’t do it. Instead, refer that person to a colleague who handles that region. You will have two grateful people who will not forget. Plus, if you handle a transaction that goes badly, your professional reputation may be damaged.
Always Follow Up
When you meet people and exchange business cards, always follow up. People most likely prefer email, unless you’re told otherwise. Email gives you a chance to really be thoughtful with your message. Don’t just say, “it was great meeting you.” They’ve heard it before (and so have you I suspect). Reference the conversation. “I enjoyed speaking to you about this…” It shows that you took the time to remember your conversation.
PACC members, please join us at our monthly meeting. http://pacccertified.com/events/pacc-chapter-meeting/