When I hear that someone is a good networker, the image that pops up for me is not a positive one.
I see people losing their integrity at these “networking events.
There are too many of those “conversations where people look right through you to see if they can find someone “more important ” to talk with.
It’s as if they are a scud missile looking for a “high value target”.
This may sound like a stereotype but it’s validated more times than I can count.
I like meeting new people and making business connections, but I follow some guidelines so I can enjoy myself and not come home feeling empty and exhausted.
You can expand your business and influence through networking but you don’t have to be a jerk about it.
I call this approach, ” networking without being a Jerk”.
1. Have a few interesting conversations rather than many superficial ones.
2. Have an unusual way of describing what you do. Instead of telling people I’m a consultant [which usually brings yawns], I say, ‘I help people have the kind of life they want at work.’ Think of talking about what you do in an interesting way.
3. Take a genuine interest in the person you’re talking too. Ask Questions. Be curious. Keep Eye Contact With The Person You’re Talking With. Don’t be looking for someone you want to pitch. Don’t fake it either.
4. Don’t Try To Sell Anyone Anything. Instead, Follow Up With An Email If You Want To Sell Something or Meet Up.
5. Don’t Embarass Anyone, especially yourself or the speaker. Last month, I was with a group and one academic acted like he was asking a question but he really was just trying to impress everyone with his knowledge. Be honest. Tell the truth.
6. Enjoy Yourself. I mean it. Have fun when you go to these events. Go there without any outcomes in mind other than this and you’ll soon find that people will want to meet YOU!
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