Online and Offline Strategies that work!
There are various ways to stayed connect in the 21st Century from attending networking events to getting connected online. Key question to ask is what works for you? and how could this create long-term relationships that you can leverage and even monetize!
I have been meeting people for many years, in 2003 when I made to the decision to go out and learn more about business, life and success and I met my 2 mentors who had significant impact in my journey of success. Quickly realized that I need a strategy to connect and engage when I was networking and meeting new people at events. Three areas are below
What you say and how you dress are extremely important in making a great 1st impression, in the end you do only have one chance to do it!
What you wear is a great start, being aware of the type of event you are attending and who will be there is important information to know prior to attending. You can do this by emailing or calling the organizer, to checking out previous photos of event online.
Having a business card (information card) is important tool to have. No matter if you are professional in transition or season entrepreneur it’s important to have connection point.
Start with the conversation and introduce yourself and engage in the conversation. If you feel there was a mutual you can ask to exchange cards and so you can connect online or send them some information you promised (ex. Book, Nice to meet you card)
There is great statement “ Attitude is everything” not matter how you feel, check your attitude at the door and be open to have a memorable conversations.
What is the first thing you do when you meet someone? You shake hands right! It’s important to do that correctly. I have had many situations where I have “fish” handshakes, don’t think that requires further explanation to heavy handed hand shakes. Important to implement that the strategy below
Mirror and Matching which is exactly what it sounds like, you merely match what they do to you. It may seem challenging in the beginning, the more times you do it you will begin to find the rhythm and connection point that works for you.
Lastly what you say and do is important, having energy and little enthusiasm will go long way in bringing energy to the environment. It will be “contagious” with others and you see it them smiling and have more engaging conversations
This the 3rd and most important step this not effectively used in most cases. It’s about asking questions and creating meaningful and engaging conversation. It’s about asking great second question is where the magic begins. You may introduce yourself and then ask a question, such as “Is this your first time at the event?” If they say “No, it’s my first time” You can responded in congratulating them and letting them know what will be happening for the evening. This make you host and leverage tool for the entire evening. You can ask what they do and how they got started in that industry.
As you do this process over and over you will feel more comfortable and become an amazing networker!
In the next section will learn on to leverage contacts from offline to online
Having an online presence is important tool to have in the 21st Century, from leveraging the people you meet to creating online connections to continue the conversation.
This social networking site started in 2003 is very popular for many professionals and entrepreneur to be connected with. Facebook and Twitter may get all the attention, LinkedIn is the social networking to be a part of.
You can apply the strategies below to have a great profile.
We can add connections daily online and offline. We meet people face to face every day at social gathering, events etc. Simply asking “’Are you on LinkedIn?” during the conversation is a great way to add value.
Great feature where we can ask our networking for recommendation. It can be from recent connection who heard you speak at an event, to a previous employer you can give you recommendation.
You can share you expertise with various groups and be part of the discussion forum. Most of them are open groups, there are some which are closed and require to be invited to join.
Applying the above online and offline will yield you success in growing you network in the long term and creating relationship that could result in meeting future mentor, business alliances and resource you can use in the future.
Make you connections work for you in the 21st Century!