Effective Networking

Doesn’t matter if you are studying, working or running a business. Networking is very important part of our lives. People do networking for different purposes such as making new friends, expanding professional and business connections, as well as looking for a life partner. There are a lot of places that we can go for networking. In fact, anywhere there is human, you can do networking.

Basically, we can categorise the places for networking into 3 major types, gatherings, organised events and communities. However, always bare in mind that networking is not only limited to these, networking can be done throughout our daily lives even we are walking on the street and talking to strangers. Sometimes networking can be very challenging such as having the fear to talk to new people, having no clue how to follow up with new connection or having no reply from the new connection.

Those are very common challenges. I love to share 3 tips for effective networking that I learnt from my personal experience to help you having a better networking experience. Be purposeful, be memorable, and be accountable.

Be purposeful

When I was attending networking events initially, I went to the event without a specific goal or purpose in my mind. I ended up wandering around the events, shaking a few hands, exchanging a few pleasantries and leaving the events almost empty handed. As you can see, going to networking without purpose is like driving in the town without destination. Remember to always set your purpose before you invest your time for networking.

Be memorable

I observed from my past experience, I usually collected a big stack of name card from networking events. Yet, I realised when I go through the name card, half of them I don’t remember who are they. From the other half that I remember, half of them don’t remember who am I. Roughly, you get approximately 25% connection rate from the event. Therefore, one of the key to increase the connection rate is be memorable.

How to be memorable?

  • Giving compliments
  • Talk to as many people as possible but focus to build stronger rapport if you meet someone who share the similar interest with you.
  • Make note on the name card so that you can remember their details
  • Get connected in social media apps right after the events
  • Share a selfie together and send them when you get connected with them on social media apps.

Be accountable

Being accountable means walk the talk. If you said you want to do something for the person, make sure you do it. Being accountable will help you to build rapport, trust and respect with others. For example, if you met someone who needed a good dentist and you happen to know one, you said you will introduce the dentist to him. Make sure you do it.

Doing networking is not about how many name cards you can distribute, is not about how many name card you have collected and is not about how many people you talk to in the events. Doing networking is about the effectiveness. When you invest your time in networking, be purposeful, be memorable, and be accountable. You will definitely be the greatest networker in the world.

Dig Deeper and Cold Call Lesser

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Many of us come across this picture, it gives us the message of never give up too soon. Yes indeed. We should not give up too soon. From this picture, I can also relate it to the way how I do my network marketing business and how I expand my network. What is it so special about network marketing? If you look at the term, the keyword is network. Many distributors I observed, they give up too soon because they didn’t tap into the network.

When I first start network marketing business, I approached it with a selling mentality. I ran all over my family and friends, persuade them to join my MLM opportunity, promote them the wonderful products I have, and they rejected me. Basically, I have already used up all my contacts in my warm market. Then, it’s time for me to attack the cold market. Going out to the street, giving flyers and talk to anyone that bump into me. The chances of getting rejection are even higher. I felt that I start my every day from zero.

At this point, it got me thinking, what should I do?

The first thing to do: google to look for answer.

The following are a few answers I found myself:

  • Network marketing/ selling is a number game. The more people you approach, the more people you will have.
  • Anyone (literally everyone who is breathing) you bump into, share with them about it. They may be interested.
  • Doing online marketing, sending mass massages to people
  • Conquer your fear of talking to people

These are very useful advices. It helps me to become less fearful to approach strangers and make friends with them. Until I found out about the next thing that I’m going to share here, I was amazed with the result.

I found this idea: focus on your network, not selling. Dig deeper into your network. ASK FOR REFERRALS

Look at the picture on top. There are a few layers of ground we have to go through, in order to get the big diamonds.

Initially, I’m thinking to give up after I approach my first layer contact (friends and my family), all rejected me. Then, I tried to go back to them, I asked them to refer me, the people they know who want the products or business opportunity. To my surprise, they don’t reject me and the answer are mostly positive. However, bare in mind that, it takes time for people to give you referrals. IT TAKES TIME. As time goes by, the people around me started to understand what I’m doing, They started to refer business to me.

Here is how I ask for referrals: “By the way , do you know someone who  _____________.”

When I understand the importance of the people, networks and connections, my business process becomes so much smoother. I made lesser cold call to strangers. Therefore, to all network marketers or those in the sales line, don’t stop at the first level of your contact, dig deeper into you networks, and WHO KNOWS? You find someone who has diamonds in their connections.