I have been to so many events and speakers hammer on the importance of network, reemphasising quotes like “Your net worth is equal to the value of your network” and almost immediately after each event, I notice most people are overzealous to implement what they have just learned and create networks, the only problem is, they just keep talking on and on about themselves and talking at the other person without necessarily trying to listen. Then they take business cards and never really follow up or even get remembered because they did not really make a positive lasting impression and their intent got buried like the other 30-100 people trying to achieve the same objective.
Because Strong Networks are formed on Lasting Relationships. You don’t want a one-off, you want to meet Bill Gates and ensure he remembers you and calls you by your first name every time you cross paths. You want him to talk about you to someone else. You don’t want to just be a random network you want to be part of the inner circle. The person they would go the extra mile for.
So what should you do Differently?
Listen: Why? Because just like you, people have problems, people like to talk about themselves and their accomplishments. It makes them feel a certain type of way… a good way actually. So ask questions with the intent to listen no matter how difficult this might be. When you listen, you can learn more about a person, their likes and dislikes, their needs, and so much more.
Add Value: With all that information you have gathered from listening, offer them something, a solution, that may or may not be tied to your product but something genuine. Everybody is coming at everybody with the intent to network and sell their products, so try a different approach. Don’t just take from people, give. Add value. Offer a solution to their problem and you may just be given a personal number or invited for a meeting.
Follow up: People have 1 million things combating for their attention, so follow up after making an impression. Call to see if the solution worked. Be genuinely interested. Put in the work. Some people can ignite the flame but not everyone can keep the fire burning. Building relationships require effort and consistent maintenance. Listen attentively and watch results flow in!
If you have more ideas on how to create lasting relationships, feel free to share.
I am a multi-faceted creative driven by the need to create lasting solutions to key problems faced by you and your business. Ask me anything about business, branding, communications, or life and we will figure out the answers together. Drop a comment.