Networking: Strangers, Friendship, and Business Growth
You already know that uncomfortable feeling, that knot in your stomach that forms, when you enter a room, a bus, or any other location where only you and a total stranger occupy the formerly quiet space. What do you say? Do you say anything? Do you even dare make eye contact? Do you locate a point exactly 180° away from the other person and make that spot your own?
Why is it that we are so uncomfortable with strangers, after all, aren't they just people like ourselves? They simply have the unfortunate luck of also being alone in a confined space with a stranger. To the other person, you are the stranger. You already have something in common with them don't you? If you want to expand your network and grow your business, you must stretch from your comfort zone and embrace these strangers..
Who makes the first move? Why is it so difficult for some people to reach out their hand in friendship to another human being? Fear is the reason. Fear may be the reason but it is usually not rational or justified. After all, many times, fear is simply "false evidence that appears real." Justified or not, it feels the same. It may be uncomfortable, but it does not have to be that way.
I recall an incident where I attended a seminar at a Charleston, SC convention center. My wife had purchased my ticket as a birthday gift. I was to be front row and center to experience Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy and a host of others over the span of an entire day. Having stayed at a local motel the night before, I had arrived at 6:00am the next morning for my planned intimate breakfast presentation with Zig at 7:00am. I arrived at the particular meeting room which featured just four large round tables and a single lectern at the front. A lone individual was seated at the foremost table and he looked terrified when I entered the doorway alone. It was just he and I in that room and you could cut the tension with a knife. What to do?
Decidedly, after briefly surveying the room, I smiled and slowly began to walk towards him in a friendly manner. My smile warmed him as he returned mine and gestured with a gentle nod of his head. At a distance of approximately 15 feet, I said "Good morning" with a bigger, even more genuine smile and waited for his response. He repeated my greeting and looked a little more at ease. While still walking towards him, I introduced myself and asked if he was native to the area. Just then, I arrived in front of him to shake his hand. He presented his name as well as his hand. I repeated his name and asked if anyone was sitting at the table with him or occupying the chair next to his. He indicated its availability and I removed my topcoat to sit down. He was relieved and I had made a new friend and valuable networking contact from out-of-state.
I casually mentioned in a deliberate, relieved tone, "Boy I am sure glad that I met you Dave. The thought of being here all alone until 7:00am was not a pleasant one." He took a big breath, exhaled and agreed. Leading the conversation with sincere questions, we talked on and on about many different items of common interest. I repeated this scenario with each of the next several "strays" that entered the room and made certain to introduce them to each other. Soon, everyone in attendance at that point, including Dave, felt right at home. We had a table of friends waiting to experience breakfast together. Each was now in position to network more effectively.
Some people will never make the first move. Fear overtakes them and prevents further movement or speech. No one likes to be alone, but, many people still will not take the first step towards new friendship. Their fear immobilizes them, paralyzing them into quiet inactivity. For others like myself, the first move is far easier and I almost always will make the first gesture of acquaintance. Someone has to. There must be activity and contact to expand your network
I am reminded of this story and others like it each time that I pass the high school bus stop at the end of our street. Most of the kids stand apart from the others and there is little interaction. Why? They don't know each other and generally feel uncomfortable with strangers. They fear making the first move and as a result, each stands alone. It's so foolish. Are we not all the same, created by the same God, endowed with the same similar general attributes and characteristics of human nature? Sure, we look different, but we are not at all different. We are closer to the same than most will admit.
I will often tell my children, "If you want to have a friend or make a new friend, then be a friend." That means to make the first move. Make an effort to make that new neighbor or new co-worker more comfortable by becoming his/her friend and making their transition into their new world a smoother, less frightful one. Offer to show the new student around and introduce her to some fellow students and possibly a teacher that you feel close to. Smile and help the other person feel welcome.
If the first move is easy for you, then make it and make it often, because for most of us, striking up casual conversation with a total stranger is a terrifying proposition. Smile. A genuine smile warms the heart and people will generally respond in kind. Genuinely say something complimentary or comment on something that might be of common interest based upon your surroundings. Be sincere. The other person will sense it and loosen up a bit. It's not so difficult to do and the rewards are great. Making the first move actually gets easier with practice. You'll see. People will be happy to be part of your network and help you once they are comfortable with you. Be a giver. Offer to do something for the other person. You will have ample opportunity to receive as your relationship grows.
Remember what Zig Ziglar always says, "You can have everything in life that you want, if you'll just help enough other people get what they want."
Daniel Sitter is the author of the breakthrough e-book, Learning For Profit, the revolutionary "how-to" book providing simple, step-by-step instructions to teach people exactly how to learn new skills faster than ever before. It is what the author calls a "skinny book", a new generation of e-book designed for busy people. Containing no "filler or fluff", it gets right to the point with no wasted time. It can be read easily and quickly on a computer, a PDA or printed for later reference.
Visit http://www.learningforprofit.com/ or contact the author directly. This e-book is currently available from C|net's download.com, the authors' web site and a variety of online book merchants. Mr. Sitter is also a contributing writer for many online and traditional publications.
Networking - How To Do It
Networking is probably the oldest, easiest, most effectiveand least expensive way to get more business. Itdoesn't necessarily involve selling your product or servicebut it does mean selling yourself. However, that doesn'tinvolve a lot of talking - it does involve a lot oflistening.
Measuring Value for a Networking Group
How do you measure a group's worth to your organization?
You MUST Be Visible
Have you ever noticed how visible large corporations are? Take Coca-Cola®, Nike® and McDonalds®. They are everywhere. Just ask anyone what comes to mind when he/she hears the words soft drink, running shoes or quick burgers. More often than not, you'll hear these brand names immediately.
How to Announce a New Product
How can the introduction of new products affect the way I network at meetings?
Five Steps for Expanding Your Customer Base with Guerilla Networking
As a single company, it is impossible to provide your customers with all the services they desire for every aspect of their life; but with guerilla marketing, you can come close. By partnering with companies that provide different, yet complimentary, services to your business, you can create a network of reliable resources for your customers. In turn, your company will gain credibility and strength from the size and stature of the group.
The Promotion Factor: Seven Strategies to Promote Yourself and Your Business by Playing Golf
Effective business promotion is more powerful than advertising. Using golf is one the best ways to increase your business and personal success. Playing golf is the foundation for networking and recruiting. Think about the relaxed atmosphere a golf course provides. It is surely not an office environment where you have to watch what you say and how you behave. Many business opportunities have been realized on the golf course. In addition, many job offers have been negotiated there as well. Here are seven strategies that will help you network and recruit for your business and personal success:
Savvy Networking: Grow Your Business and Your Career
Did you know that contacts are the bread of career life? In times of change, information and relationships are a source of power. Savvy networking will help you to tap into this power to grow your business and your career.
Building Business Relationships in a Roomful of Strangers
You approach a stranger at an association meeting or industry conference with you arm outstretched and say: "Hi. My name is?.." And you're off and running.
Which Networking Events Should You Attend?
How does one determine which are the best events to attend based on one's best customer?
Networking for Wallflowers: How to Profit from Getting into the Crowd
The two most common complaints about networking are: 1) I never meet people I can do business with and 2) I am always so uncomfortable going to networking events. These two complaints are related and can be relieved with a three step approach to networking that helps even the most frustrated networking wallflowers.
Volunteering for a Networking Group
When is it appropriate to volunteer to take a position in the group?
Unforgettable First Impressions Part 1: Discover the CPI
People like others whom they are like. So if you want to make a flawless first impression, it is your duty to discover what you have in common with every person you talk to.
Mary Kay Ash Did It Best... (The Networking Factor)
"The Networking Factor, Everyone is important!" This slogan reminds me of another personal credo by one of the country's greatest motivators... Zig Ziglar says, "You can have everything in life you want if you help enough people to get what they want!" I'm sure Mary Kay Ash shared the stage and/or conversations with Zig Ziglar. What was her magic formula?
Powerful Networking: Focus on Building Connections, Not Closing Sales
You can find numerous references in the business literature about the importance of a company's mission. These sources emphasize that the mission is not to make a profit; that a profit is the outcome of and reward for fulfilling the mission. In the same sense, the mission of networking is not to gain business and close sales. The mission of your networking activities is to make connections, develop relationships, and help others. The outcome of these activities will ultimately be increased business. It's the reward, not the purpose.
The Five Step Formula For Getting Prospects to Call You
Are you tired of prospecting for new business?
How NOT to Waste Your Time Networking
Ever wonder if networking, referral groups, and conferences are a waste of your time? Think about it?how many hours do you invest in deciding where to network, registering, getting there, "working the room," and then following up? How much real business do you generate from your networking efforts? How do you know where to invest and where to cut your losses?
10 Top Tips for Successful Networking
1. Recognise the importance of networking
Create a 10 Second Introduction From Your USP
You can generate a ton of business by networking, whether you belong to a networking organization or just get referrals from existing (satisfied) customers. Whenever you meet a new potential client, it's important to create the right impression about you and your business straight away. That's where a 10 second introduction comes in handy ? and the more this introduction stands out from the rest, the more likely your new acquaintance is to remember you.
Strategic Networking: Take the Shortest Path to Success
Do you use Ryze or LinkedIn to promote your web based business? If so, you may have noticed that everything is linked to everything else. Here's how to take the shortest path to networking success: use keywords and a targeted linking strategy.
The Secrets to Networking Success
Recently I was interviewed for a book on networking. My first response was, "Hey, I don't network. I hate that stuff."
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013|