Priming a Connection to Connect After Networking

networking The point of networking is to meet new people you can work with to grow your business. That means that what you get out of a networking event doesn’t just stay within the time frame of the event. It goes beyond it. To ensure you are more successful at getting your new connections to connect with you after networking, it’s best to prime them during the event.

Two Ways to Prime for an After Networking Event Connection

Priming means getting ready. You can get connections ready to connect with you following a networking event by preparing them for you to reach out them. For example, you may say something like, “I’ve enjoyed our conversation. We need to pick this back up sometime this week. How about I get your phone number and call you tomorrow to set up a meeting?” As you can see, in this example, you priming the connection. You are telling the person you want to connect with him or her after the event, you are asking for a way to connect with the person and you’re even give the person a time. Now, since many people say they are going to call and never do, many people won’t take you seriously. That’s a good thing though. When you do call, they will be impressed with following through on your commitment.

Telling the person you are going to connect during the event isn’t the only way to prime. You can actually take it one step further. Instead of saying, “I’m going to call you.” why not set up a meeting. For example, you can say, “This has been a great conversation. I think we can do great thing for each other in growing our businesses. How about we meet at the sushi bar tomorrow at 6 to continue our discussion?” When you do this you are establishing a connection for after the networking event. The next step is to ask for the person’s phone number. You can then follow up with a reminder phone call.

Some of you might think this is coming on too strong. Yes, it may seem like that for some of you, but for others, you may feel that this is what you do to actively move your business towards a goal. It’s not something you have to do with every single person you meet, but for those that you really want to add to your networking rolodex, it’s effective.

Why not try this at your next networking event? All you need to do is step out of your comfort zone and establish a meeting or set up a call. You can do it. It will be great.

Have you ever done this before? What happened? What other tips do you have for priming people for a connection?

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Using Google Calendar to Keep Up on Networking Priorities

ID-100200988Networking is a beneficial part of growing your business. Making connections, keeping those connections close to you, and continuing to work with them are all part of networking. This means that you’ll need to remember to connect with them. Google Calendar can help you do that.

The first thing you need to do is set up a Google account, if you don’t already have one. You can sync your account with your tablet, smartphone, or other mobile device. This way when you set up the calendar, you’ll be able to stay on top of your networking tasks.

Once you have your Google account set up, go to the Calendar tab on the left of the screen, if you are using the application on your web browser. You will then be able to see a nice preview of the month’s activities. To set up your networking priorities, follow these steps:

  1. Start putting in networking events. You can add events with time, date, and information. You can also put an alert to those events. This will set off an alarm a few minutes, a day, or days before it to prepare. If you don’t have any events to put into your calendar, start looking for some, and then fill them into your calendar. This is a great way to get motivated to attend more networking events.
  2. Whenever you go to a networking event and have some business cards, consider adding them into your Google account’s contacts. It’s a great way to organize your contacts and then use them in the calendar.
  3. You can connect your contacts to your calendar. If you have a networking event on Friday, you may want to set up an event for the following Friday to call a contact. When you in the event, simply click on the contacts tab to select the person. The person’s information will show up in the event. You can then write what you need to do with that person in the description. Set up the alarm to remind you the day of or the day before the event. This will keep you from forgetting.
  4. Fill your calendar and complete tasks as they approach. Whenever you receive an alert, you can do what it says in the description. This is why it is important to complete it as thoroughly as possible. It will save you time when the alert comes up for you.

You will be amazed at how easy it is for you to organize your networking on Google calendar. You may want to start a new Google account just for your networking, or you can use one you already have. In any case, before you know it, you’ll start to see many more benefits to networking just because you’re keeping up on what you need to do foster relationships that will help your business grow.

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Networking Is Not Sleezy – Rejecting a Study

ID-100184326People who feel uncomfortable about networking can sometimes feel like they are doing something wrong. A study in the journal Administrative Science Quarterly found that participants felt networking impinged on their moral purity. Participants felt dirty when they thought of networking with others. They felt as though they weren’t doing the right thing because they were being selfish.

Is It Really All that Bad?

Before you turn away thinking that networking is not your cup of tea, pay attention to why people felt dirty immoral – they were being selfish. That’s where those people have gone wrong, and that’s why they feel the way they do.

Networking should never be something selfish. Yes, the goal of networking is to grow your business, but that shouldn’t be your only mission. It will just make you feel as though you are taking, taking, and taking some more. Networking is about giving and taking, and many times, it’s more about giving than taking.

This study can be disheartening to people who could really benefit from networking. That’s a shame. Networking has some incredible benefits when you do it right. You don’t have to be the used car salesman that everyone rolls their eyes at or runs the other way from. You can be the person everyone smiles at and comes running over to when they see you enter a networking event.

You are a giver. Give, give, and give some more. Find out how you can help everyone. Ask questions about their business, connect with them after the networking event, and follow up on how you can help. As you help people, you may find that some of them will run with it. They won’t come back to help you. Others will come back to you, and those are the ones you want to continue exchanging favors with.

This is how you can network correctly. It’s how you can network without feeling like you’re doing something wrong. This way you aren’t just looking to use people. You are seeking people who are willing to give and take with you. That’s fair.

Don’t let studies like this dissuade you from networking. Understand the right way to do it and implement it into your business. You’ll likely soon realize that it isn’t what these researchers are reporting. It’s a very clean, professional, and moral thing to do.

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Personality Traits and Networking: Why You Should Care

ID-100284481Everyone has a personality. Whether it is one that is likable or not, people have a certain way about them. Each type of personality either goes with or against other types of personalities. When two personalities go well together, people can do great things together. When two personalities conflict, it can make it difficult to be successful. Notice that we said it’s difficult, not that it’s impossible. Understanding what another person’s personality is and how to work with that personality is important to make it easier to work with that person.

DISC Personality Assessment

The DISC personality assessment identifies people’s personality at work. The following are each type of personality in the DISC.

D – Dominance – This person emphasizes results and bottom line. This person is confident. Usually, people with a D personality can only see the big picture and they are blunt and get right to the point when speaking to others. They don’t consider emotions. They are quick to accept challenges.

I – Influence – This person emphasizes influencing others. This person persuades people, is open, and values relationships. These people show enthusiasm, are optimistic, likes collaboration and don’t like to be ignored.

S – Steadiness – This person is cooperative, sincere, and dependable. People with an S personality don’t like to be rushed, they remain calm and approach situations calmly. They are supportive and display humility.

C – Conscientiousness – This person focuses on quality and accuracy. These people enjoy working independently, reason objectively, want details and are fearful of being wrong.

As you can probably already see, someone who is a C personality probably doesn’t get along with someone with a D personality because the D personality just wants the results, while the C personality wants the details to gain the result. The S personality may not get along with someone with a D personality either because Ds are blunt and energized, while S personalities are calm.

The one thing you should take away from this for networking is as long as you can identify the personality of the person you are networking with, you can deal with the differences much easier. You can understand why the person is behaving the way he or she is, and be able to work around it.

Many times, you can figure out what someone’s DISC personality is within just a few minutes. You can then immediately respond the right way to foster the relationship. You won’t be easily offended either. You’ll be able to say to yourself that this just the way the person is, it’s not that the person is being this way because of something you’ve done or said.

When you go to your next networking event, keep these personality types in mind. It’s likely you’ll find it helpful as you meet people and form a relationship with them. It will help you work with that person, so you can both take each other’s strengths to grow your businesses.

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Build Trust with Networking

ID-100109098When you first meet people, you don’t trust them and they don’t trust you. It’s human nature not to trust people you’ve never met. It’s protection. You’ve learn from past experiences that some people are not trustworthy, so you keep that in mind when you’re meeting people. You need to get to know them and build trust in them. Networking fosters trust between you and others in your industry.

How Trust Builds with Networking

When you first meet someone, trust immediately forms. It’s not strong, but it’s there. As you speak with that person, commonalities will strengthen the trust that has started. After you move on from that person, you won’t have a great amount of trust for that person, and that person won’t trust you that much either.

This is another reason why it’s important to follow up with the connections you make at networking events. Every time you connect with someone, trust continues to build. This trust comes from again, commonalities, but it also comes from an exchange. Without even knowing it, you trust this person by divulging information. That person then divulges information to you. Little by little the trust builds. When you meet in person again, you’ll see that the trust is already more than when you first met at the networking event.

As you engage in a business relationship, trust continues to build. You trust the person to do something. That person trusts you to do something. This exchange leads to bigger and more meaningful tasks with each of your businesses. The tasks are what will grow your businesses and lead to a great partnership.

It all started with trust. You are not able to use networking effectively if you don’t trust someone. Networking enables you to get to a point where you can trust someone. You connect for the first time at the event and then connect again afterwards.

When You Can’t Trust Someone

There’s always situations in which you meet someone you believed was trustworthy but ended up not being as trusting as you had expected. That’s okay; it happens and you learn from it. The best thing you can do when meeting new people is pay attention to your gut and keep your eyes and ears open. You will learn some of the signs of someone who is not trustworthy. Before you know it, it will only take you a few minutes to realize that you can’t work with that person. That will help you move on to other people who are much more trustworthy and worthy of your time and energy.

Keep the idea of trust in mind as you go to your next networking event. You may just realize how influential it is to the success of networking to grow your business.

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What to Wear When You’re Networking

networkingWhat do you wear to a networking event?

If you never really thought about it, you have to start now. Your networking wardrobe says a lot about you. It can help you or hurt you. Find out which outfits you should shop for or put to the side just for your next networking event.

What you wear depends on where you are networking. Let’s start with the job fair. At a job fair, you need to dress professionally. Women should wear a dress and tailored jacket. Be sure the outfit works with your body. Women should stick with black, navy, gray or cream. Don’t go overboard with jewelry. Men should wear a fitted suit, a tie and polished shoes.

When you’re having lunch with one or more people you are networking with, don’t dress too professionally. You still need to dress to impress, so think of business casual as you’re choosing your outfit. Women should wear a skirt, blouse, and heels. Men should wear dark khakis and a button down shirt. Don’t wear a tie, but try to add a suit jacket.

For a cocktail party, don’t think short cocktail dress because you don’t want to risk inappropriateness. Women should wear a skirt that hits the knees with a casual blouse. Stick with colors such as black, gray, and shades of red and navy. Men should wear a suit, but not the classic black. It should be gray or tan.

When going out with colleagues or meeting a potential employer, wear what you do at work as long as you wear business attire. Women should wear a dress or skirts with blouse. Men should wear their dress shirt and slacks without the jacket.

Figuring Out What to Wear No Matter Where You Network

People do notice what you’re wearing, so keep it simple and appropriate. Always feel comfortable in what you’re wearing because you don’t want that to ruin your confidence. If you really have no idea what is the best outfit, just wear a skirt and blouse if you are a woman and button down shirt and slacks if you’re a man. You will be safe with these outfits. Once you get to the networking event, be sure to look around to see what others are wearing. You can then make a mental note if you should wear something different next time.

Do you have an outfit you can wear to your networking event or do you need to go shopping?

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5 Networking Mistakes You Need to Avoid

ID-10087566Networking mistakes can ruin your chances of starting a successful business, growing a business, or finding a job. OfficeTeam recently conducted a survey that asked senior managers what they believed were the biggest mistakes people make when networking. Find out what those mistakes are, so you can avoid them.

Mistake #1: Networkers Fail to Ask for Help When Needed

One of the benefits of having a network is being able to use it to solve problems or answer questions. When people don’t use their network, they lose out on that, which can stall their progress towards success.

Mistake #2: Not Staying in Touch with Contacts

Most people do really well after a networking event, but after a couple of months they don’t stay in touch with their contacts. When they need something someday, those contacts may not be willing to help. It’s important to keep contacts close by regularly checking in by phone, email, or some other means.

Mistake #3: Not Thanking People

No one has to help anyone. When people do help, they don’t want to feel taken advantage of. They are just as busy as others, so they want to feel appreciated for their time. Appreciation comes in many forms, but the easiest way to show someone gratitude is by saying thank you.

Mistake #4: Not Helping Others

People need to give to get. When people don’t want to help others, no one wants to help them. When people don’t get any help, they have a harder time achieving their networking goals.

Mistake #5: Delaying Responses to Contacts

When people need help, they don’t need a couple of months into the future. Contacts are important, so people should treat them that way. Responding quickly to find time to help will make it more likely they will want to help in return.

How many of these mistakes have you made? It’s okay if you’ve been a couple of these because you’re not the only one. Simply learn from your mistakes. Follow the suggestions on why you should make the above mistakes, and continue to meet as many people as possible at networking events. Before you know it, you’ll be using and helping a large network base.

 

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The Most Important Skill Business Women Need

ID-100109196There are many successful women out there today. They have achieved their business goals, and they’ve done it despite the challenges and struggles they’ve had along the way. At this point, you’re probably wondering how they’ve made it so far. You’re probably thinking that they must have something you don’t. Guess what? That’s not it at all. It’s not what they have, but instead, what they did.

They networked.

No one can do it all. When people try to do it all, they end up reaching their max, and then they reach the max of how successful they can be. However, if they go outside of themselves to include other people in their business, they start to grow it much more than they could ever handle alone.

When women network, they meet people who have skills, knowledge, and connections they do not have because of time, money, or ability. This brings about opportunities that they would have never imagined. The resources take them to new levels of success.

Why Women Are Natural Networkers

The biggest part of networking is socializing. Chatting with people about their business is important. Women naturally love to talk to others. They enjoy listening and learning about how they can help others. The difference with business women is that they not only think about how they can help others, but also how others can help them. The exchange is easier for women because they are used to doing it with their friends.

What about Anti-Social Women?

Some women aren’t natural networkers. They don’t feel comfortable meeting new people or engaging in conversations. These women have a harder time networking, which can limit the growth of their business. This doesn’t mean that they don’t ever succeed. They usually have to find a different way to network with others.

Most women who find it difficult to network face-to-face do well online. They can reach out to people easily on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other networking sites. While online networking has limitations, it’s a great starting point. Many women who find themselves communicating with people they meet online regularly will end up taking that connection offline. It’s much easier for them to interact with people they already formed a relationship with because they know what to talk about.

What This Means for You

If you’re a women trying to figure out how to grow your business, networking may be the answer. You can start online and then venture offline, or you can start offline. Surround yourself with people who are in the same type of business you’re in, or people who work with or have the same types of consumers. You will be amazed at how comfortable you feel and how much you can get from just talking with people. Try it out this week to see how beneficial networking can be to your business.

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The Power of a Handshake When Networking

ID-10097693You walk up to someone, extend your hand, and you two shake. Just when you thought that was enough, there’s much more you need to know about that first impression you’re making. Yes, it is a first impression, even though you probably never thought of it that way.

Think about it. When you shake someone’s hand, that person is seeing and feeling you for the first time. He or she is forming an impression of you, and it could be false if your handshake doesn’t speak the truth.

Understanding the different ways to shake someone’s hand will help you identify which way you should do it next time you’re networking.

Hand Giver – The Weak Handshake

When you just hold out your hand to let the other person shake it, you’re basically telling the person you’re passive and weak. When you’re not strong on the inside, people will think you won’t be able to perform. They don’t feel as though you have what it takes to help them or even help yourself. Do something with your hand when you hold it out – that’s what a handshake is all about.

Hand Crusher – The Hurtful Handshake

Ouch! Is that the impression you want to have on someone? Probably not. Many people believe those with a hard, crushing handshake are trying to overcompensate for something. They are trying to show they have power in the wrong way. This can lead to people not only feeling as though they need to get an x-ray, but that they will end up having to deal with someone who is way too self-absorbed. It will make them run and hide in fear of another handshake.

Hand Shaker – The Never-ending Handshake

You shake the person’s hand, and you don’t let go. You are still shaking when you’re already in conversation. Finally, the person breaks free. While you may think this shows the person you’re committed or interested, it’s really just showing that it’s going to be a long, boring meeting.

The other problem with the never-ending handshake is that most people don’t like to be touched by those they don’t know, so when a handshake takes too long, they are already turned off. Again, not the first impression you want.

Getting the Handshake Right

Shake the person’s hand, don’t shake it too much, and let go at the right time. These tips can seem like you can’t get a handshake right at all, but it is completely possible to perfect handshaking.

Imagine yourself meeting someone. Hold out your hand, grasp the other person’s hand firmly but gently, and after shaking two or three times let go. Don’t swing the person’s hand. Just move it up and down swiftly.  I know this is all about the handshake but one important modifier to the handshake is eye contact.  Make sure you are focused on making sincere eye contact when shaking the other persons hand.  A firm handshake and sincere eye contact says a 1000 words – all good words.

Do yourself a favor. Ask a friend to shake your hand. Try out the tips here, and then ask for your friend’s feedback about it. It’s the best way to know if you’re doing it in the way that will deliver the best first impression possible.

 

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What Research Says About Networking

networkingWhile you may listen to people tell you how important networking is, all the talk probably doesn’t mean as much as research. Many studies have been done on networking and the results are remarkable.

Research shows that networking has many benefits:

  1. It helps you stay employed.
  2. There’s more potential for salary growth.
  3. It improves job satisfaction.
  4. It helps people find a job.
  5. Helps people become successful.
  6. Aides in becoming an expert at a job.
  7. Helps people become more creative.

Networking has always been an important part of employment. Even back in 1974, a study by the name of Getting a Job found that 56 percent of people we able to find a job through a personal connection.

According to The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work, MIT researchers found that employees who worked for IBM performed better when they were socially connected.

A study conducted in 1998 found that 70 percent of people in the workplace learn about their job not while working, but through connections they have outside of work. The more people you speak to, the more you learn.

Creativity isn’t just something you’re born with. According to research, businesspeople with large networks were more likely to be creative at work compared to those with small networks.

With research spanning all the way back as far as the 70s, it’s evident networking is important. It provides benefits that can’t be found anywhere else.

Even with these benefits, you may find yourself wishing there was an easier way. You may not find the benefits worth the work of networking. The problem is that missing out on these benefits is a shame. You should have these advantages because you deserve them. Networking doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think.

One thing you must keep in mind is that it’s only hard when you first start networking. Once you get used to it, you’ll be able to do it much easier.

Try this:

Find a networking event to go to. Don’t make an excuse and not go. Make yourself go and meet people. As much as it looks like they all know each other, most of them don’t. They simply are just learning about one another.

If it’s more comfortable, approach a person who is by him or herself. Say hello and introduce yourself. Ask the person about their work, and then let the conversation go from there. Once the conversation slows down or ends, simply exchange contact information and move on. Some people use the restroom or get a drink before approaching someone else. It’s nice to have a break.

Don’t give up the benefits of networking before you’ve given it a good chance. Attend them and connect with people afterwards. Before you know it, you may just start to see all the benefits mentioned above.

 

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