Thank you for requesting my Top Tips for Networking Success!

 

From Fleur Allen
Master Networker
Out of the Box Biz

I am delighted to have the opportunity to share this knowledge with you. 

Once again. Thanking you!

Top Tip #1 for Networking Success
Share Strengths not Weaknesses

Meeting new people through face-to-face networking and LinkedIn I often hear in those first initial words of introduction (also called an ‘elevator speech’) an area of weakness or insecurity rather than a strength. For example:‘I am new to business’ could be changed to ‘I have been a writer for over 20 years’

‘I find networking challenging’ could be changed to ‘What works for you when networking?’

‘I’m not sure how to describe what I do’ could be changed to ‘how would you describe what I do?’An Elevator Speech is simply how you would describe what you do in the time it would take to ride the elevator to your floor of destination. I recommend describing what you do in a way that outlines how you help people. Ideally, preparing a 60 second speech using the following structure:Your name, what you do and who you work for (or the business you own)

Describe what you do in terms of how you help and choose your greatest point of difference

Use the remaining 30 seconds to describe a short story or case study of a successful experience as a result of helping someone thought what you do.

Top Tip #2 for Networking Success 

Demonstrate your Value (and Values)

If you want to be successful and influential in your business networking efforts you need to demonstrate your value at all times. Plus you also need to behave in alignment to how you describe yourself or your business values too.

Firstly, demonstrating value – what do I mean by that? First of all include how you help people in your elevator speech and mention your most important, core business values too if relevant to the conversation. Then if the conversation continues you can embellish with examples of short stories on how you helped someone in your business. You don’t need to name names here just describe the type of person or situation. Stories are a powerful way to communicate and most people identify with those you describe in stories much more easily than describing ‘your ideal client’.

For example, an accountant might say they assist people to meet their tax compliance obligations and plan for the future through budgeting. Which sounds all very well but if they go on to describe how they assisted their client that was a farmer, or trades person or whatever it might be – immediately this is much more interesting and you have a higher chance of the new connection being interested in hearing more about what you do.

Secondly, it is equally important to demonstrate your values through your actions. For example, if you say you just love helping people then make sure if someone in the networking room needs help that either you offer or you have seen someone else offer assistance. Think about it, if you hear someone say how much they love helping and in their actions they express no concern or interest in offering assistance when it is needed. Do you think the new contact will believe and trust that they do love helping? Remember to successfully do business with someone new (and already known for that matter) you need to build positive rapport and trust. Matching what you say and do builds this positive rapport and trust.

Top Tip #3 for Networking Success

Refer through People not to or at People

Many times we meet a great connection at a networking meeting or originally on LinkedIn and very quickly we realise they are our Ideal Client. Unfortunately often, in our excitement, we make the fatal mistake and come across too strong and sell directly too them.

There are exceptions to this rule as some personality types appreciate this direct approach however it is not the majority.

All is required is to adapt your language. It is appropriate to share all that you do if your new connection is showing interest in hearing more. If you’re not sure simply ask. But use language which directs your conversation to talking about what you do for someone they may know that is interested. What this does is it allows the new connection to have the space to realise for themselves that you are the solution to their needs. If you can achieve this then they tell you they need you rather than coming across as pushy and salesy. This is the ideal outcome if you have demonstrated your value through your conversations.

Using this structure means you will make sense describing what you do whether you have 10 seconds, 30 seconds or 60 seconds depending on the type of event you are attending.

Finally, don’t take for granted that everyone knows or understands what it is you do.

For example, as my current title is Master Networker for Out of the Box Biz – most people don’t know what a Master Networker is. So I explain what this is and what I do ‘As a Master Networker, I connect Out of the Box Biz members with those they wish to know in business’. Or if you’re an Accountant think about describing yourself as a trusted advisor to meet your compliance obligations but also plan for the growth of the business.

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I look forward to hearing about your Networking Success!

Regards,

Fleur Allen

Director

Out of the Box Biz