Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
Networking is the must-have sales mindset for the modern minded worker. It is a learnable skill and one that we can all develop to improve our working life, whether we want to find a new client, or make new contacts within our organisation to create new opportunities for ourselves. So, here are three top tips for success:
1. Have a Threshold Self-Talk
2. Use an Opening Gambit
3. Set a Simple Goal
1. Thresholds are an often ignored part of our life. We spend each day crossing in and out of rooms in our house, or our office, and each time we do so we cross a threshold. When the threshold is significant, perhaps it is the doorway that leads into the CEO’s office, we might run a little self-talk in our heads, for example, that goes – ‘Oh no I can’t do this, the boss is going to mince me up in there!’
The same applies when we go to a networking event. As we approach the room it is being held in, we need to make sure our self-talk is positive, so that we set ourselves up for success. We can remember that we are OK, have a right to be here and are just as important as the next person. (Value doesn’t increase with the longevity of our business).
2. An opening gambit means to have a set phrase in our head that we can trot out without having to think too hard in the moment. We can catch someone’s eye, stride up to them, smile and say:
‘Hello there…I’m [insert name] and you are? ….Is this your first time here?’
It is perfectly acceptable to design your own opening gambit and to learn it by rote, so that in the moment you can repeat your handy phrase on auto-pilot. Brains seem to shut down when we are stressed, or they take too many moments to boot up when faced with an awkward social setting.
3. I like simple. Do you go to a networking meeting with a goal in mind? In my case I decide that as I cannot possibly get round all the people there I will make life easy for myself by setting a goal of chatting with two people, as a minimum. That’s all. It means that if a conversation develops I’m not faced with the prospect of saying:
‘Although you are undoubtedly interesting I must leave you now in order to chat with another person here, so that I can set a new Personal Best of 35 business cards collected before breakfast.’
Go easy on yourself and apply these effective tips to support your confidence when networking. We can all be a success and we all have value!
This week think about setting a simple goal every time you are crossing a threshold and are about to go into a meeting. What is one small thing you would like to achieve?
Next week: Where Do You Waste Time?
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Brilliant ways to increase performance, stay employed and keep the money rolling in
Published 2011 Marshall Cavendish
Secrets and skills to sell yourself effectively in the Modern Age
Published 2010 Marshall Cavendish
An insider's guide to working for yourself
Published 2007 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish