Networking Tips

(Excerpts taken from presentation by Todd Kent from Action Coach)

We’ve all heard how networking can help grow your business, but do you know how to make your networking effective? Here’s a review of the networking tips Todd Kent of Action Coach offered at this morning’s Fitchburg Chamber of Commerce breakfast event.

1) Make it about them – When starting a conversation with someone new, ask questions and make the discussion about them. Folks would rather talk about themselves than hear about your company’s product/service. “Leave the ego at the door,” Todd says.

2) Know you want to meet – Make a goal of meeting “the marketing person of ABC Company”.

3) Make sure s/he attends – If you know Mr. Jones from ABC Company, shoot an email to him verifying their attendance so you can have a chat.

4) Look for the bridged connections – If you can’t meet your target person or company, find others who can connect you to them. Ask folks in discussion if they know who handles marketing for the ABC Company or seek out the Ambassadors of the networking group to introduce you.

4.5) Even better, make yourself the connector to build your credibility. Ask people you meet why they’re attending and who they’re hoping to meet.

5) Read someone’s personality before approaching them – don’t scare them away before they have a chance to become your prospect! There are all kinds of seminars and books on reading personality types and how to connect with them. Here’s the abridged version:

– Are they fast or slow paced with their gestures, speech and processing?
– Are they people or task oriented? (People Oriented tend to wear brighter colors, more accessories, etc.)

Based on these questions folks can fit into four camps:
A) Fast paced and Task oriented – These folks are very logical and results-oriented. They take things you say literally, so when you say you’ll follow up with them, do so within 24 Hours.

B) Fast paced and People oriented – These are the people that are social and buy on emotion. Compliment these people. Get them emotionally inspired and they’ll talk your ear off. Follow up with these folks within 1-2 days as they’ll appreciate the relationship you’re building.

C) Slow paced and Task oriented – These folks have the most organized desk at work and don’t like things that change their world or thinking. Ask them about their job and give them details as to why you’re doing something. Invest time in these relationships and don’t follow up too soon or you might intimidate these folks.

D) Slow paced and People oriented – These people tend to be financially oriented, analytical and steady. They have high attention to detail and like to work in teams. Give them more information than they ask for and follow up when you say you will.

Review these before your next networking event and let us know how they work for you. Have other networking tips? Share them with us in the comments below. Looking to meet a friend of Tingalls? Let us know!

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