[hidepost=2]Welcome to lesson 3 of the “Networking Know How Short Course.”
Today let’s talk about making a good impression and following proper rules of engagement at networking events.
As we have discussed in your previous lessons the main goal in business networking should be to establish new relationships and through the process of follow-up develop them over time. As with any relationship making a good impression, being honest, and following certain rules play a very important role in that development.
Have you ever been at a networking function talking to someone when during the conversation you felt very self-conscious trying to say the right thing?
When you go into a networking environment prepared to be relaxed and genuine, you will find that it is a lot more fun to be there. If you have a plan of action to really get to know people, you will be much more productive in a shorter amount of time. People will feel comfortable talking to you and you to them. In an environment of truth, more people will want to do business with you and to be around you.
Keep in mind that authentic enthusiasm is contagious. You will always appear to be more attractive when you are excited about what you are doing. When you are not worried about making mistakes, you will appear to be happier. Being happy about the situation will help you to smile more, and the smiling face is a natural human attractor.
When it comes to effectively networking for your business you also have to be aware of the borders and boundaries of others.
Have you ever had someone get right up in your face when they are talking to you? Often when we are out networking, we find ourselves in a loud environment as people try to talk louder to be heard over people trying to talk louder to be heard. This results in a roar that makes regular conversation very difficult.
The temptation in this atmosphere is to get very close to another person so they can hear you and you them. This can result in being too close to another person sometimes making them very uncomfortable. This discomfort is heightened when we have been consuming alcohol and the person we are talking to have not.
Each of us has our own comfort zone boundary. This is a space around us that when another person enters we begin to feel uncomfortable. A good way to relate to this is to remember if you have ever had an argument where someone got right up in your face and possibly even pointed their finger very near to it. Remember how that made you feel? In most cases it makes a person feel angrier.
In a networking environment it is important to maintain a distance from a person that you are talking to. This distance should be almost an arms length. Most people’s comfort boundary is about the length of their arm. If you find yourself getting very close to someone in conversation, imagine if you raised your arm and that is the distance that you should be from the other person. If they move closer to you in the course of conversation, it is acceptable to them to be closer. If it is acceptable to you then continue with the conversation at that distance.
You can sometimes tell if you are standing too close to someone if they seem to be moving back while you are talking to them. If they appear to be getting further away from you, do not move to be closer to them. They will stop when they reach the distance that they are comfortable with. If they turn and walk away of course it is time to find someone else to talk to.
To be most effective in your attempts to build relationships with others, it is most important to keep these things in mind. Remember that it makes no difference what you say to a person if they are not engaged in the conversation.
So the next time you attend a networking function, be yourself, follow the rules of engagement and observe the of boundaries of others.
Your networking results will improve and over time, the difference will be measurable in more ways than just your income. You will find that you have more friends than you had ever imagined possible. When it comes time for the referral, your friend will remember you because friends really do refer friends.
In our next and final lesson we’ll talk about what you need to do to maximize your networking results. Look for it one week from now.