You go to networking events to connect for business, right? Wrong! If you build relationships first, the business will come. Show an interest in who the other person is and share some of yourself.
Certified Career Coach Hallie Crawford (and introvert, I might add) of Create Your Career Path attended a recent workshop I gave on the Introvert’s Career Path to Success. In it we discussed the “giving and getting agenda.” One of my favorite non-fluff networking books, Making Contacts Count (AMACOM, 2007) by Lynne Waymon and Anne Baber describes this concept beautifully.
Check out Hallie’s views on this topic in her brief video, Stop Talking Business at Networking Events. She also summarized her thoughts on her blog (which is full of practical tips).
We had coffee after the program to learn more about each other. Hallie is living her career dream and guiding others do the same. She showed a true interest in learning more about my speaking, coaching and writing on IL’s(Introverted Leaders). The cool thing? We already are supporting each other in our respective businesses. Building relationships first is truly the key – I love when this stuff works!
Thank you Wendy Gelberg, career coach, for applying the 4 P’s to the job search. Here is her piece which I hope you find helpful.
Applying the 4 ‘s Process to Your Job Search
“My brother lost his job,” said my friend, Sam. Will you give him some tips? I asked how much of a network his brother had and Sam turned to me with a shoulder shrug. “What do you think?” We both had discussed his brother’s tendancy to stay in the background in work and in life so I knew the answer. Not much.
Plugging into a cold network of professional and personal connections is hard. People want to know that you are interested in them from time to time, not just when you are job seeking.
So if Sam’s sibling does want to talk to me, I will suggest that he waste no time in connecting with work and professional colleagues, past and present.
I will also share three steps he can take immediately.
1) Prepare 5 questions to ask your contacts on your phone meetings. Show genuine interest in their challenges and successes. It is not all about you. How can you demonstrate knowledge and competence and learn as much as you can in your networking meetings?
2) Study names and use them. Repeat them at least 5 times ( saying it in your head is fine!)
3) When you attend networking events, follow the advice of a wise introverted networker, He says ” I tell myself I can do anything for 30 minutes!”
And if Sam’s brother doesn’t want to meet with me, that’s okay. I can go ahead and follow my own advice.
Bob Goodyear, one of the many terrific professionals featured in The Introverted Leader: Building On Your Quiet Strength just made the lead to a story on Forbes.com about “saying hi” Some excerpts:
“I was always fine making a presentation in front of a crowd, but when I tried to mingle afterward, it felt like someone was sticking their hand down into my stomach and tying it in a knot,” says Goodyear, 53.
Note: Bob and I discussed his upcoming trip to Australia and some techniques he could use. He pushed himself and had great results. Here is another excerpt from the article.
“Last September, on a business trip toAustralia, Goodyear decided to get over his fear of making the first move. “I knew there would be a social function after my speech, and I was nervous about mingling in a room full of people I’d never met,” says Goodyear.
Rather than panicking, Goodyear got busy preparing. “I researched all the companies that would be represented at this event so that when I saw the company names on the guest’s name tags, I had a piece of information about their firm to use as a conversation starter,” he says…”
Read more! : http://www.forbes.com/2009/05/21/social-anxiety-networking-entrepreneurs-sales-marketing-networking.html
Do you panic when asked the inevitable social event question, “So what do you do?!!!” Try keeping it simple. Your aim is to get the listener interested, not give a canned answer. I love the idea of highlighting a talent or skill and providing a success story.
My favorite networking authors, Lynne Waymon and Anne Baber (Making Contacts Count, AMACOM) www.ContactsCount.com offer these examples of good answers to that question. Would you be interested in continuing the conversation if you heard these? Any examples of others you can give us for starters?1. Interior decorator: “You know how kids outgrow their clothes? Well, I consult with families who’ve outgrown their houses. I just helped a couple decorate a room for their new baby.”
2. Survey Methodologist: “I design surveys and questionnaires. I wrote one for soldiers returning from Iraq and figured out a way for them to answer online. We were amazed when that boosted the response rate by about 18%.
3. Human Resources Manager: “I’m in charge of the on-boarding process for all our new hires. I just spoke about some of our newest ideas at a conference for people from Fortune 500 companies.”