The key thing about networking sometimes and I wonder whether you face these issues… You go to a networking event, you speak to a bunch of people, you exchange name cards then you ask them the question, “What do you do?”
You come back from the networking event having had some quick conversations about yourself, what you do, and you hear from the other person as well about what they do. You end up having these bunch of name cards and its faceless—you may or may not remember what they look like or may or may not remember what they said about themselves. And it kind of ends there sometimes, right?
The key point about a lot of people who go to networking events is to really ‘work the room’ and traditionally this is what most people do. You work the room, you walk around, you get as many name cards as possible and you hope to do a follow up with them—you hope to invite them to an event you’re hosting or invite them to a webinar, or to something that’s happening where you can get engagement with them.
So, I wonder what your results are… from gaining that level of actions that you’ve done so far.
I’d like to share what I see as one of the better ways of getting good traction. Now, the whole idea about networking is really: ENGAGEMENT. When we are face to face with another person, it’s the best time to be really curious about that person and find out exactly what the person is all about.
3 Tips to Get Better Engagement in Networking Events:
- Contrary to the popular belief of working around the room and getting as many name cards as possible is to instead, SPEAK to selective people. People that you feel and know have got an interest in something that you do or can be a key influencer to the kind of people that you would like to get referred to.
The idea is to speak to the few people, even if it’s just 1 or 2 and get a great CONVERSATION going. The key here is to Ask relevant questions about the person and what the person does, what their interests are, and how you can help the person maybe in terms of advancing their career or what they’re looking for in their business.
When we are out there and we share the possible ways in which we can assist the other person, more often I find that this person would reciprocate by asking, “Is there anything I could do to help you?” And that is when you reach out and share what you’re looking for, who you’re looking for, and how you would benefit the key people that you would like to get referred to.
Some of the ways of engaging with another person very powerfully are to connect with who this person really is. When we take interest in another person, even when you are in a crowded room of a hundred / five hundred people, yet you invest the time to fully connect with that 1 person, that’s when the magic happens.
- LISTEN powerfully to what the person is saying and how you can help them get to where they want to achieve their goals.
Engaging is not so much about talking. It is about powerful listening. Once we listen in such a calm and focus way, what happens is the whole world opens up for you to experience a very curious journey together with the other person. And that’s when you allow the other person to express who they really are, their dreams, goals, and visions. What happens there is, they will feel so connected to you.
Once someone feels connected to you, they will then open up to listening to you and taking a deeper interest to you and what your goals are. Reciprocity is a powerful law of the universe that traverses all divide and connects everyone on the same plain. And it starts with powerful listening.
- The power of GIVING. Being very sincere and authentic in your power to help the other person is a key trait in getting more engagement in networking.
In this particular networking event that I’ve just came back from, I was listening to a new startup entrepreneur who is into branding. He creates fabulous websites when he was working for his previous company and his portfolio of clients were big names like Mindvalley and Kaodim (South-east Asia leading e-commerce business) and I had a very powerful conversation with him—what his experiences are walking out of full-time employment in his own business and the issues he’s facing with his new clients.
When we had this conversation going, I then offered, “Well, I have clients who are in e-commerce that I think may possibly be a good fit for you.” And so when we were talking about this, he suddenly realised that I was taking a much deeper interest in the quality of work and who he is as a person.
A very key point about giving a REFERRAL: It’s not about throwing a name and a number at someone. It’s not also about dropping an email introduction. It’s understanding what they do will fit you’re the person you’re going to refer to and whether they would both be a great fit working together.
So, when we are giving referrals, it’s about connecting two unique individuals or businesses together to see whether they’re going to be a great fit—in terms of their individual perspectives and what they are looking for in life.
Their quality of work and their attitude both also have a bearing. Even though you may not have necessarily used their services, discerning and doing a pre-qualification before you actually give out a referral is one of the key aspects whether this would be a successful referral for both parties.
When I was speaking about this to that gentleman, it dawned on him to take time to study the potential client beforehand so that this referral doesn’t become any name throwing or business card throwing referral, but a VALUABLE one.
Now he feels that I am really connecting with him in a much deeper way—that I actually care. He then asked me this question, “How else can I position you with some of the clients that I have as well?”
I hope that these points help you in getting better engagement with your audience, with your ideal clients and prospects, and become a valuable connection to other people who will also help you build your relationships and pipeline for your business.
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