For any “wantrepreneur”, entrepreneur or serial entrepreneur, networking is absolutely essential for growth. But you’ve already heard that time and time again, have put yourself out there, but aren’t so satisfied with your ROI. You may be missing a key part in how to network. That’s right, it’s not just about handing your business card to the person next to you and talking about how you saved the whales by age 17.
Think of networking in terms of how you would prepare to pitch a new client. It’s a no brainer to research the brand, come up with fancy ideas and figure out how you are going to dominate this meeting and come out victorious. Why should networking be any different? Though the setting is more casual, and that first approach always with a bit of the unknown, the result should be the same. You want the receiver of your communication to walk away knowing that the last 5 minutes (or 50 minutes) that they spent talking to you was a big win for their work day.
Sounds simple? It can be with some tips from the people who focus on events day in and day out. The challenge to networking, and honestly, to any relationship is communication. It’s not just about how you communicate but just as importantly how who you are communicating with receives information. You can’t do much personality research about the person you are networking with like you would a potential client, so you are left to figure it out within the first few seconds after shaking their hand. Our favorite strategy? Bringing up the weather that day and decipher which personality type that person falls into. Here are two examples of communication styles and how best to communicate with these personalities:
This person will love the fact that you even brought up the weather. They will talk about how it was so great to take their dog for a walk this morning, eat sugar free blueberry oatmeal before work, and the traffic before getting to the networking event. The creative communicator wants to talk about all the fluff before diving into business. By going with their flow and making that personal connection, by the time you finally get to talking about your business, they’ll already love you.
This person will give you a short response, and is ready to dive into business talk. They want to hear numbers, stats, facts and get right to the point. They don’t care about much else so when communicating, neither should you. Depending on your personality type this kind of person may be a bit jarring. Don’t be concerned. They like you just fine, they just don’t show it the same way you do.
Is it that simple? Yes, it is. Understanding the communication style of who you are speaking with, and doing so quickly is what makes the difference between a good conversation and a great one. Like a detective use this method to decipher the best methods of communicating with your new found contact. By using this method to improve your communication skills, you can get better results from fewer conversations.
We may know a thing or 2 about networking events but we’re even better at planning them for you. Contact us today and lets get planning!