After reading yesterday’s post on the 4 p’s did you sit down and really think about it? Makes sense doesn’t it? It will take some time to get used to the idea of thinking of yourself as a product for some, but for others it makes perfect sense.
Today, I want you to think about the power of networking.
We often hear that it’s all about who you know. That certainly does hold a significant amount of weight. Who we know can lead to some great opportunities in business and in our careers (even in our love-life). No matter what industry you are in the ability to meet new people is so important. The contacts you have can lead to so many things even at times you never expected.
In our world today the power of getting connected has become so much more accessible because of the internet and social media tools. But the reality is in-person interaction is still the best way to get connected. Face to face communication still works. Although websites like LinkedIn are a great tool for getting connected with people in your industry, once the barrier of sitting behind your screen is no longer there it seems people can sometimes be stumped on how to socialize.
Below are a few tips on successful networking.
1. Use your current contacts.
You may already know people who could connect you to others that could help you get to the next level. That being said, you should remember that YOU also have connections that someone else could benefit from. So talk to people you know and you’ll be surprised at who or what they could connect you to.
2. Don’t be desperate.
That’s right. When meeting new contacts, be relaxed and just go with the flow. Approach everything with a conversation and don’t be so desperate that you put people off. The goal is to meet and greet. It’s not about immediately asking them to get you a job or get you a contact. It’s just meeting new people and knowing anything can happen.
3. Exchange contact information.
Always be prepared with a business card so that new connections can reach you. Don’t be afraid to ask them for their information also. Some people don’t even hand out cards anymore but instead use their mobile devices to record information on the spot. If you have a website or social media related to what you do this is also a good time to share that information.
4. Follow up.
There’s nothing worse than collecting so much information and NOT connecting with anyone. It’s important that while you’re still in that person’s memory you pick up the phone and call him or her. If you wait too long it’s easy for that person to forget who you are. Especially if you’re dealing with someone in a position where they meet new people constantly.
5. Be yourself.
Don’t try to act like another person or like how you think they expect you to be. Just be yourself. I know that sounds cliché but it’s true. There’s nothing worse than a person who is trying too hard to be like someone else. That act gets stale real fast and then you’ll revert back to who you really are. Then they will think something happened or changed. When the truth is you weren’t yourself to begin with. So just stay calm and be you.
Product, Price, Place and Promotion; yes the 4 p’s from yesterday’s post. You are selling yourself so this is important. But in networking situations you’ll have to be very subtle about how you do this. Take your time relax and remember; you are the product, know your price, place yourself in the right environment and promote your best self.