Be generous…

when you attend your networking event!

“Do these people like me?”

When we attend gatherings, social or business, we are building new or reinforcing existing relationships. It’s called networking and it is an activity we do daily. The 3 key steps to building a new relationship are:

  1. Know
  2. Like
  3. Trust

For continuing relationships where 2 and 3 reduce or disappear so does the relationship.

When you want to grow your network, the more events you attend the more people you get to know and vice-versa.

Getting people to like you

For me this is the key to all meaningful relationships. If you are a business person or professional looking for new clients the first thing you need to sell is yourself. When people like you and they have need for your services or products you have one big opportunity to start a serious business relationship. When they don’t like you, unless forced to by others they will never do business with you!

So what do we have to do to get people to like us? I believe the key is to be generous and have a giving spirit. So what sorts of ‘gifts’ can we give? Here’s my list of 10

  1. I think the number 1 gift we can give is our undivided attention when talking to them. When you decide the conversation is over, and you will both know it, move on courteously and politely
  1. Give honest, sincere appreciation. I often hear women saying to another woman, “What a beautiful pair of shoes” or “I really do like that brooch.” Men tend not to say such things, well not all business events anyway!
  2. When you first meet someone give them a smile, a warm firm handshake, good eye contact and show enthusiasm.
  3. Give one highly –focused second to listen very carefully for their name and repeat it. Remembering someone’s name is critical in building relationship yet the vast majority say “Oh I’m no good at remembering names”. If you are one of those people think, it’s not your memory; it’s your hearing and lack of attention.
  4. Be a good listener.  At an event not only do we have internal distractions we also have external ones with all that’s going on around you. Concentrate and encourage others to talk about themselves. People love doing that; let them.
  5. Make other people feel important – and do it sincerely. If you are in a threesome and you’re basically chatting to one of the two ensure you glance at the third person to acknowledge their presence.
  6. Even if you are a guest at an event, think and play host. If you are in a group and see others on their own, invite them to join you.
  7. If you’re in the food queue offer someone a plate and get a conversation started  Buying someone a drink, where appropriate, will always win you brownie points
  8. Introducing two people you know to each other can often start a new relationship. Mind you, if it turns out badly they both blame you so take care who you introduce.
  9. If you hear someone has a problem and you know the answer offer a gift of free advice. I believe it is one of the most powerful forms of marketing. ‘The more you tell, the more you sell’. A small number of people will take advantage of you; just shrug and move on.

In summary , when you think ‘What can I do for you’ rather than ‘What’s in it for me?’ you become popular, people will like you, a great foundation for the start of a relationship.

As an added bonus, with this attitude, it means you haven’t got time to be nervous as you’re expending all your energy focusing on others.

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