Top 4 Mental Shifts for Networking
1) Focus on what you can provide, not what you can take away.
The conversations shouldn’t be all about you and your product or service and why you are a disruptor in your industry. Focus on the people you are meeting. Your networking group probably gets sales calls all the time, so give them a break and let them talk about their business rather than pitching them a product or service.
2) You know nothing, question everything.
Even if you happen to know about the industry, ask questions. Ask how they got into the industry. Do they focus on a specific portion of the industry? Why do they focus on that part of their industry? Who is their ideal customer?
3) Keep it concise
Most of us could literally talk for hours about what we do, who we serve and why we do it, but come up with a simple to understand one-liner of what you do. Compare it to another well-known industry if it’s a bit more complex or a very niche industry. For example, not everyone knows what a Business Broker does, so I say “It’s like a real estate agent but for the sale of businesses.” This gives the other person an opportunity to ask questions about an aspect of your business that they have a specific interest in.
4) Be a matchmaker
If you met someone that might benefit from having a conversation with another member, bring them into the conversation. Make an introduction and share why you thought they should meet. This helps you learn more about other members and assist them in their networking goals.