“Shh don’t tell anyone else but do you know…”

….what networking is? It’s simply communicating with others. Once we start to talk we’re networking i.e. building relationships. The 3 key steps to any new relationship are (1) know (2) like(3) trust. The key for me is getting people to like us. I hate the phrase ‘people buy people first’ but it is so basic it must be true. When they don’t like us they will choose another speaker; there’s always another ready to step on to that stage in our place. To get people to like us we need to create a great first impression. The smile, the eye contact, the firm handshake, remembering their name. It’s not that we forget their name it’s just that we haven’t been listening. Work harder at this to build early rapport and if you don’t hear their name ask them to repeat it. And when they ask you what you do answer with a positive verb and not a noun telling them what you are. Saying proudly ‘I’m a professional speaker’ often means nothing to them. Find out what they do first then when you’re asked say something like ‘I develop networking skills for professional people like you’. Finding things in common is a good way to build early rapport and make sure when listening you are genuinely interested.

So I’ve been earning a living for the last 16 years training people to talk to other people! Some people might think I should be banned from work!

 

Words by Will…

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