Business Strategy and Fear?

My business strategy is to network in places you would never think I would appear and it is highly likely no one there ever met me before.

Not long ago I attended an intimate event in West Palm Beach, Florida, where Les Brown was speaking to our group.

Les said, “The most feared activity, even feared more than death, is public speaking.”

I wonder how high on the list networking would be?

Even more specifically, I wonder how high on the list networking would be when you know you are going into an environment where you know absolutely no one and you think you have absolutely nothing in common with anyone there?

Well my friends, I challenge you to do just that!

Try out this strategy. Don’t over think it. Just try it out and let us all know how you make out.

Okay, so you are not totally left out in the cold here are a few networking tips for you:

Business Networking - Shaking HandsTIP #1 –   Warm up your smile and be ready to smile all the time.

What does this mean? Many of us are so busy tapping on our laptop, blackberry or iPhone we have that face on. You know the face, the  I’m tapping on my laptop, blackberry or iPhone, so don’t mess with me face.

You are not smiling. Make it a point to smile a lot everyday before your networking event. You should not have to think about smiling, you should just be smiling.

TIP # 2 –   Be really interested in the other person and their story.

You have three to five minutes to engage.  Yes, a time limit. If there are ten people you are going to meet this will allow you to meet these ten people in one hour. This allows time for you to move between people. So you do the math. You have only a few minutes to both engage with each other. It is the time you have to network around the room so you will need to keep moving.

Ask questions and repeat key points back to the person you just met. Use their name back to them in the conversation.

TIP # 3 –   Have your story ready, clear and succinct.

Your name, your company, what do you do?  Who are your customers/clients? What are the results? All of this in less than 1 minute. It must not be rushed, it must be clear and you need to make eye contact and smile.

TIP # 4 –   Exchange cards or contact information.

If you are connecting well, ask if you may contact them about meeting soon one on one or speaking on the phone to connect further. Leave your introductory meeting with an agreed upon action step. A definite do not do is do not take the contact information email off of the card and add it to your newsletter list and auto-generated email list. No one wants this done to them. It is so 2005.  So don’t do it.

TIP # 5 Follow up.

A short direct email or phone call about how great it was to meet you.  Reaffirm your call to action item.  Agree upon your date and time to meet up.  Ask about connecting on LinkedIn or Facebook or Twitter as appropriate for the situation.

It is my hope you are now more open to going to a networking event where you may not know a single person.

If you are interested in really getting your networking skills to the level they need to be for your business to grow and be more successful, contact Mitch Tublin, premier business strategist, consultant and coach, and set up your strategic business breakthrough session today.