If you go into a “Business Networking” situation looking to get people interested in you and your business you may not have a great deal of success.
Likewise, if you are only looking to connect with people who might be of benefit to you then you are unlikely to come across as a the sort of person others would like to connect with.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
― Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People
The key to happy networking is to be open to any individual, any situation and any conversation.
Do not go in there with an agenda – for example, “I need someone who could design me a website at a discount, I’ll try to befriend a tech person while I’m in there…”
First up, there might not be a tech person there and while you waste time looking for them, you’ll miss out on all sorts of positive connections you could have made. Second, the tech person might not like you, or you might not like them! It’s generally best to build friendships with people you can actually get along with. And finally, if your actions and conversations are being led by a specific plan in mind, that will come across to the people you meet and it’s not a particularly attractive trait to be labelled with.
So the key here is to go into every situation excited about the different people you will meet, keen to learn all about them (put telling them all about you on the back burner), feeling relaxed and open to what you can learn from many different people. No agenda apart from perhaps the notion you might make some great friends today and have some fun!
So what’s the point (apart from increasing my social circle)?
Although what you can get out of Business Networking shouldn’t be your reason for doing it, there are endless benefits to making connections with people.
- We call it work but actually have a jolly nice, relaxed and sociable time!
- Ideas sharing.
- Building a bigger friends network.
- Individual specialist skills/support from each person you meet.
- Increasing your customer base.
- Confidence building.
- Happy factor from helping/supporting others.
- Infinite reasons why connecting to other humans boosts wellbeing.
The world is your oyster
When people think of business networking, perhaps the image that springs to mind is of business breakfasts or some other organised event for like-minded business people to meet up.
Of course this is a useful option but don’t limit yourself to type of occasion.
You can make connections wherever you go and now you know it should feel more sociable than formal, you don’t have to limit yourself to networking only during working hours.
As well as obvious business situations, why not try striking up conversations with people you don’t know while your on the bus, at a baby and toddler group you attend, at your local market, join in with a chat on a Facebook group, down the pub on a Friday night, while on holiday even?
The possibilities are endless and who know where that next conversation may lead you?
If you would like to know more or want to arrange to attend one of our upcoming Business networking events, please contact us for a chat.