Online networking today is not enough
There is an old truth that states; ‘No deal was ever done without a conversation’. To clarify, this adage implies that the conversation should takes place in person. It was true before the internet and it’s even truer today.
Social networking sites and e-networking is only a tool to open the door to a conversation. If our focus is communicating only online studies show that it impacts and diminishes our ability to express ourselves clearly when speaking in person.
The reality is that people like people who are like them. It’s our job therefore to find ways to make that personal connection.
Meaningful judgement can’t be made if we can’t see them face to face. Speaking on the phone goes only part way to creating a relationship. To reinforce our opinion of a person we need to pick up on the micro expressions that instinctively we react to. Meeting them in person ads an extra layer of confidence.
If the idea of walking into a room full of strangers, breaking into a conversation and then having a meaningful chat fills you with dread here are some tips to overcome the anxiety:
Trust is the key
is the one thing lacking in so many areas of society today and the only way to engender that trust is to physically meet that person.
GET THE GUEST LIST.
Plan who you want to speak to and if you know somebody who is going to be there start chatting to them first. The result is that this calms you straight away and they may be able to introduce you to others.
HOVER ROUND THE BAR
OR COFFEE TABLE
At some point during the event everybody will gravitate here and you can then chat. You don’t need to ‘work the room’.
LOOK AT THEIR FEET
Look for a group or a couple of people that are in conversation and notice if one of them has their feet pointing out. If so this is a hidden indication that they are trying to escape. They will be very pleased you have rescued them.
It’s the understanding that if you feel it would be beneficial to introduce the person you are chatting with to one of your contacts, importantly, they will feel obliged to recommend you.
BE SINCERELY INTERESTED
IN THE OTHER PERSON
When our focus is finding out about the other person it reduces the anxiety of having to ‘sell ourselves’. People love talking about themselves especially men.
Secondly by asking questions you find out more about them and if it is worthwhile continuing to chat. The result is that you won’t waste your valuable time.
DON’T TELL PEOPLE
WHAT YOU DO TEL THEM WHAT YOU HAVE DONE FOR OTHERS.
At some point in the evening you will be asked ‘what do you do’? Your answer is to tell them how you have helped others.
Remember that networking is not about selling to the person in front of you it is about making a connection with that person who may then be able to introduce you to the army of people they know.
Wishing you successful networking