Networking is an important part of any successful business, and this is especially true if you want to be seen as a leader. The reason is that people respect active people more than they respect people who sit behind their computer. It’s all part of the “know, like, trust” trinity. And, there are a lot of women out there networking successfully. If the idea seems a bit daunting, just follow these tips.
Simply Be Yourself
Everyone says this but it’s not always as easy as people think. This can be especially true for women who have changed identities a few times. You may be a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, cook, driver and so forth. But you’re also a business owner and a leader. It can be hard to balance all of those things, but remember it’s good to be all of those things because it makes you a more balanced individual.
Know How to Express What You Do
Many people call this an elevator speech but the truth is, no one wants to listen to you ramble on and on and even thirty seconds can seem way too long. Just know how to answer the question, “What do you do?” It should just be a few words, a sentence or two at the most. Because you want to learn to express it, so that you leave no doubt or confusion with those that you meet.
Be Able to Express What You Want and Need
In addition to saying what you do, who you do it for, and why you do it, you’ll want to include what you need and what you’re looking for. If you also need something, people will find a way to connect with you. You take the focus off what you’re selling and put it on something else, which will make the people more open to listening to you even more.
Try Out Multiple Groups
Don’t settle for one group, or one type of event. Jump out of your immediate circle and find events that have people at them that you want to meet. You don’t want to accidentally become part of a clique. Instead, you want to spread yourself out a little bit so that you can meet more people. One good place to find local groups to join is meetup.com this will give you details of all sorts of groups.
When you find a group that is working for you, offer your services as a volunteer. When new people come into the group or the event, they’ll see you automatically as a leader and want to follow you and friend you. As you volunteer, seek ways to truly add a lot of value to what you’re doing.
Ask the Right Questions
Open-ended questions are the very best questions to ask anyone you’re talking to. An open-ended question is one that must be answered with more than one-word answers. Don’t try to trip people up, but do ask questions and listen to their answers.
Meet the Right People
It’s important to research any group before you join it, or any event before you go to it. The reason is that you want to both go to events and join groups where there are people who can help you, or people you can help. This type of networking will provide many more results.
Be a Resource
If people know you as a resource, they’ll call on you more often for connections. And even if they don’t need what you have to offer, they’ll come to you when they do or send others to you that they know do. When you have a wide variety of connections to recommend, you’ll become extremely valuable.
After the event, or after you’ve connected to someone personally within a group, always follow up. Even if things did not work out fully the way you imagined, following up can make a new first impression. When you follow up, use the approach of, “what can I do for you?”
Host Your Own Events
Once you’ve been to a few networking events, online or offline, consider hosting your own events. As the leader of the event, you’ll have built-in authority that can travel with you even as an attendee at other people’s events or groups.
Networking properly can boost your business to new heights that you maybe never thought was possible. Once you attend a lot of events, you can have your own events and become known as a leader in your niche.