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Fear is temporary; regret is permanent – 10 possible networking regrets. (part 5)

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It is said when we indulge in quiet reflection we more often regret actions we haven’t taken opposed to things we have done. When it comes to networking there are certain moments when perhaps you and I should have taken that extra step but didn’t. Here are some thoughts to ensure the next time you pull out …you don’t!

Bear this in mind the next time you don’t

  1. Approach someone standing alone
  2. Approach an ‘open’ group to meet more people
  3. Move on when the conversation is over
  4. Move on from a group where you have no interest
  5. Ask probing and intelligent
  6. Ask about the relationship with their existing advisors
  7. Ask for their card to  follow up
  8. Ask permission to call them after an event
  9. Make that first follow up call
  10. Make that 2nd and 3rd follow up call

Don’t think of sales or selling when doing your business development. Think, when you have knowledge, experience and expertise which adds to a prospect’s business it is your duty to develop their business by matching their needs with your offerings

Regret 5. Not asking probing and intelligent questions.

People say to me they could be accused of prying by asking the wrong or too questions. My retort is when you go networking you’re looking to match your knowledge and expertise to their issues and challenges. The only way you can do that is to ask open-formatted and intelligent questions

Can I suggest you consider

  • Don’t turn your questioning into an interrogation; make sure it is simply a conversation. Think fishing not harpooning!
  • You will meet 2 types of people. People who are happy to share all sorts of facts with you; we call them the ‘high reactor’. Then there is the ‘low reactor’; the person who is cautious and maybe even suspicious of someone they’re meeting for the first time. You have to quickly identify which personality you’re conversing with.
  • Concentrate on asking open-formatted questions which should start with the words “who, what, why, when, where, which and how”. Even the low reactor has to answer you in a sentence rather than just say ‘yes or ‘no’. They will do that sometimes if you ask ‘Do you…?’ ‘Can you…?’ ‘Are you…?’ etc.
  • When someone says something you don’t understand or you want more information don’t pretend you know. Probe and clarify to discover more. Use 6 words to gain more information.

Tell (me what you mean) explain (how that works) describe (in more detail…). (“What do you mean by that) exactly?” “Where in particular does that fit into the equation?” “How specifically does it work?”

Next week: Regret 6 – Not asking about the relationship with their existing advisors.

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