New Year – time for a new business networking group?
Ready to make 2021 the year you make sure you are in the best business networking group for you?
Joining a new business networking group as a visitor or a new member can be a little bit overwhelming for some people. Sound familiar? Then read on!
The biggest challenge can be the negative self-talk we give ourselves – imagining that we will never break through – we may not fit in the business networking group – or that we may not meet like minded people in business networking group.
That’s why our business networking group is charged with always being welcoming, nurturing and fun. In our business networking group, we are determined to make sure you get into meeting supportive and high-quality connections who will be eager to help.
Below are six steps for how to reach out to cold contacts, build relationships, and create career opportunities in our proactive business networking group
Know Like Trust – give first – expect nothing in return.
We are 100% relationship-driven in our network. If you come expecting to walk with an order, and introduction, or connection without doing some leg work to give first – we are not the business networking group for you. Transactional networking just does not work
However, Relationship-driven networking means helping out with no expectations. You may consider you do it simply for the joy of helping someone else. ; You may also seek advice or expertise from someone – it’s a great way to get to know someone and understand how they can help others. Over time and getting to “Know Like Trust” is THE best way to build relationships and business connections that work!
Build on commonalities and interests. in our Business networking group
Before attending meetings of our business networking group, we will learn more about you so that we can ensure we introduce you to people who share something in common with you. It could be you operate in the same sector, share an interest or hobby, can collaborate – or we may introduce you to someone in our business networking group that needs your service or product.
By taking the time to make sure we introduce you to carefully selected people in our business networking group we firmly believe it helps create rapport and increases the chances of that person being a good fit and connection for you.
Connect on LinkedIn after business networking group events – and arrange a 121.
After meeting at our business networking group keep in mind – it’s just the start of building relationships. Make sure that you send an invitation to “Connect” with the person on LinkedIn and always add a reminder of where you met as a note. Once someone has connected, you can then send a longer message, and follow them and see more about them through updates and posts they may make. You can also over time be a connector and sharer of posts and information that they may also find useful and helpful.
Ask Open questions, listen, understand, seek clarity
Although at the event you will have a chance to talk about your business through your 2 minute talk, there is a lot of the time in the breakout room to discuss as a collective how you can further help each other. To do so you need to develop your artistry of asking questions; to discover more about the people in your breakout rooms. Beyond the meeting the essential 121 meetings will also draw upon these questioning skills. Just like at the business networking group meetings, a 121 should be purely about discovery, understanding, and figuring out how you can help each other and in turn help the wider business networking group.
What actually is an open question?
Well, they are a style of question that is almost impossible to answer with a simple yes or no – they help you glean more information.
You will note that “Why” is missing from this list. Personally – I would be very sparing in the use of “Why” – as it can sometimes be perceived that you are challenging or judging the path/situation which can make people defensive. Instead, if you find you ask lots of whys – consider how to switch it to one of the above question starters instead.
If you are wondering – but what do I ask about you can consider learning about
- What their path has been – background, experience, and how they got to the now
- Learn more about their current Business and dig into their industry
- Seek advice on how best to help them. Their like to meets? Their plans for the future?
- Wrap up on how to best stay in touch
For a more ideas on the types of questions to ask click here.
Say Thank you. Stay connected. Reach forward, reach back
It’s good to say thank you – whilst this can be private its great also to say thank you publicly – especially if you are able to tag them be specific about how they helped on platforms like LinkedIn or at future business networking group meetings.
Finally, continue building the relationship by getting in touch regularly. This will keep you top-of-mind and they’ll begin to know you, like you, and trust you as a professional. You can do this by commenting on Linked in posts or other social media posts, requesting to sit with them at future business networking group meetings, or attending face to face gatherings.
Likewise – never be afraid to request to re sit with someone – we have all the tools to connect you also in between events. So even if you drop the ball and fail to follow up the first time – we are here to help you connect as a member between events also. You JUST have to ask!
Consistency and honesty is crucial to building trust.
To be a great networker in our business networking group consistency is king. Many of our members have been with the business networking group for 10 years, some 5, some 3. Whilst being welcoming they will also expect you to commit to the group. We are no cult! But our business networking group does have high standards. If you say you will do something – DO IT. If you want to get ahead – HELP OTHERS. If you want to make the most of membership of our business networking group embed yourself and take every opportunity to connect, to participate and to support others in the business networking group.
Well – fingers crossed you have found this blog post helpful.
If you would like to discuss your networking style and get some 121 support to develop it then simply get in touch!