We all know how important it is to balance the online and offline networking and connecting what we are doing now.
We can't only live online, or offline anymore. Each one is mutually interdependent and inter-related. They work so well in tandem.
Both have their importance, purpose and value. We know being online is simply smart and essential because that is where people converge, gather and interact. But, offline is where the true personal connections are made to explore the mutuality and develop the relationship. If you are not in physical proximity with someone, what are some of the ways and things you can do to accelerate relationship building?
Are you meeting, picking up the phone or Skype-ing regularly when you make new social friends?
Here are 9 things you can do that will help you develop some warm connections, stand out and be remembered.
1. Lead and share your passion, authenticity and story. People really connect with your real side and everyone has a story. It's the new elevator pitch.
2. Target your Audience by knowing about the community where you are meeting. Research and find out about them on websites, blogs and through others that may know about them, or are members of the group.
3. Know the guest list. When you know some specific people that will be there, that you will want to meet, do your homework and find out about them. Company, awards, community activity, accomplishments. This is great fodder for conversation. How would you feel when someone you didn't know yet, approaches you and says, I loved the blog post you wrote on how to be a Mom and grow a business? It certainly says something to me about them.
4. Work the room and try to have several warm interactions. Don't monopolize or be monopolized. Engage and encourage mutual conversation and include others into it.
5. Pair up with a mentor or someone who knows the crowd and group and rely on them to introduce you around. Coming with someone others know and respect says something about you. You are judged by the company you keep, is the quote isn't it?
6. Set goals for what you want to accomplish and come out of the experience with: 5 warm connections, new friends, someone you can refer business to.
7. Be inclusive and see how making connections for others make sense both at the event and after. I have been amazed at how encouraging commonality and synergy can work with complimentary businesses.
8. HCIHY (How can I help you?) This is the new benchmark for networking. Not what can I sell you, but how can I serve you. Serving is the new Selling. When people know you are in it for the right reasons and motives, the relationship naturally grows. Building trust, by freely sharing knowledge and being who you say you are takes time. Invest and commit to it with people you feel good potential with and demonstrate a mutuality with you.
9. Follow up promptly and with purpose with those warm connections you made. Lunch, coffee, guest blog, mentor, referral, Skype, phone call, collaboration, link swap are only a few reasons to reach out and continue.
Relationships take time, effort and commitment. Some grow, some go, but you won't know which until you take the actions.
Networking is a natural extension of all our interactions and communications today. We are pretty much networking all the time now aren't we?
What are some of the successful ways you have used in your networking?
About the Author:
CAREEREALISM Expert, Deborah Shane delivers business education and professional skill development specializing in women in business, those in career transition, sales and personal and social brand strategy and integration.