What goes around comes around. Humankind can’t yet explain this scientifically, but it does seem to work. Give to receive, it’s the fundamental code of business networking. Here is a networking checklist of suggestions for becoming a better networker with a little bit of etiquette sprinkled in.
Be helpful. Use a helpful approach especially on business networking websites. Think: “What can I contribute to this community or conversation that people will find truly helpful?” And then work hard to extend that help to as many relevant people as possible.
Be authentic. Always keep your integrity. Nothing destroys networking like lack of trust. Trust is based on knowing that the other person has integrity.
Be genuine, nothing is more damaging to your reputation than being fake when it comes to helping others with the purpose of helping yourself. “What’s in it for me?” is the worst approach when it comes to networking. Take the approach of “What’s in it for them?” and you will both win.
Be helpful. Ask people: “How can I help you?” and “What can I do for you?” Use careful questions to help people clarify their answers and create open communication for a better understanding of how you may be able to support them in their business and possibly work together in some capacity.
Be clear, concise, and confident with your message. Develop a descriptive message about yourself and what you do as a written statement, and as a verbal statement. Make a successful impact in the few short seconds you have to answer the question “What do you do?” At 30 Second Success we offer individual coaching, online courses, and workshops to help you create a clear, concise message that connects.
Be creative. Develop slightly different descriptions of yourself for different situations – so that you are as relevant as possible. As you work with these descriptions or ‘30 second message‘, you will find that a series of mix-and-match phrases take shape. Continue to refine and adapt these statements. Get feedback from people, and notice what works best, for different situations. Or, contact us to create branded messages for you.
Be different than everyone else – especially your competitors. Try to see all your competitors as potential allies. There’s not much difference – just a frame of mind. This can be very significant; this mindset can take you from constantly looking over your shoulder at what your competitors are doing to concentrating on building your own business. Direct your efforts to growing your own positive activities, and resist losing valuable energy, time, and resources combating or worrying about the apparent successes or advantages of others.
Be positive and smile. Use positive language. Smile before you enter the room and keep wearing that smile. See the good in people. Be known as a really positive person. It rubs off on others and people will warm to you for being so. Keep your emotional criticisms and personal hang-ups about others to yourself. If you hear someone being negative about another person, you will often wonder, “I wonder if he/she says that sort of thing about me too?” Saying negative things about other people reflects on you poorly. Protector your reputation, don’t get sucked into conversations about other people, it will not end well.
Be passionate and enthusiastic, but not emotional and subjective. Avoid personalizing situations. Remain objective. Seek feedback about yourself and your ideas from others. It is the most valuable market research you can obtain – and it’s totally free.
Be tolerant, patient, and calm. Particularly when others are agitated. Followers gather around calm people.
Be prepared. Always carry a pen and notepad. Always carry a calendar. Always carry your business cards. Some people like the electronic version, but having the actual thing shows that you are prepared and that you are truly interested when you stop to take a note or add someone to your already busy calendar.
Be aware. Drink less alcohol than everyone else around you, and if you cannot trust yourself to do this, do not drink alcohol at all.
Be attractive. Keep fit, or get fit, and then keep fit. Success and followers tend to gravitate towards people who take care of their bodies, as well as their thoughts and actions.
Be present. As soon as you can, create or have built a clean and clear website for yourself or your business. It is the ultimate universal calling card and it is perpetually available.
Be mindful. Only promise or offer what you can fully deliver and follow up. Always aim to under-promise and over-deliver.
Be meticulous. Take great care with quick electronic messages (texts, messages, emails, etc) – you will be amazed at how many misunderstandings and breakdowns in relationships occur because a message is wrongly interpreted. Check and read everything twice before hitting “send”.
Be committed. Always follow up on everything that you say you will do…EVERYTHING. If you cannot follow up, don’t say you will do it.
Be grateful. If you accept a referral or introduction to someone always follow it through. Be sure to send a thank you to the person making the introduction and let them know how it’s going.
Say “Thank you” to people whenever the opportunity arises. An attitude of gratitude goes a long way.
Be interested in all people. Invest your time, attention and genuine understanding in them.
Be empathetic. Understand what empathy really means, and practice it. Look people in the eyes. Focus on what they are saying, not on what you will say next. This is about communicating at a deeper empathic level than people normally employ. Make a determined effort to concentrate and care about the other person. Fully engage in active listening. Take notes if it helps. Study emotional intelligence for a greater understanding of connecting.
Find reasons to give positive feedback to people and mean it.
Be a connector. Networking is about building a wide and relevant network of meaningful contacts – not just having lots of one-to-one meetings. Big strongly connected networks inevitably capture more opportunities than networks with lots of holes and weak connections.
Be discerning. Choose your most trusted and closest associates very carefully – reputations are built according to the company you keep, beyond how you yourself behave.
Be intentional. Target groups and connections that are relevant – which fit your purposes, and you fit theirs. Don’t waste your time on groups and connections that lack integrity or relevance.
Be selective. Recommendations reflect powerfully on the recommender, therefore: Recommend only those people you are confident will reflect well on you, and always ensure you reflect brilliantly and memorably on anyone who recommends you.
Be a client. Coaching and connecting people is part of how we support our clients at 30 Second Success. We work closely with clients to create a clear, concise message that connects with confidence. The ability to convert contacts into clients through your messaging is powerful. We help you take those opportunities to share your 30 second message and turn them into great networking connections. Schedule a call today.