Do you really know who you are? If someone asked you to describe yourself in less than 30 seconds what would you tell them? Right now, think about what you would say.
What did you come up with? If you said something that someone else had told you about yourself then you should take the deep dive your personality. Figure out what it is about you that helped them have that impression about you. There is a really easy way. Take a personality test! Personality test are a great way to gain better insight into who you are. Typically, these test help you put words to the things you do and make it easier to communicate the type of person you are. They especially help with developing online profiles, cover letters and when going to networking events.
Networking Tip: Help Your Team Hit The Curve Ball: Many professionals share an all too common poor experience in the workplace. They have completed many years of education and passed rigorous exams to practice in their profession – e.g., accountants, lawyers, medical professionals, etc. They are hired and move through the next learning curve – applying their skills to add real value for their clients and their employers. Then they are thrown the curve ball.
They are told that in order to advance, they must bring in new client business. Some navigate this transition well. Others don’t and often leave – taking all that valuable skill training with them. Consider how much better this story would go if:
A) Expectations are set right up front in the hiring process;
B) Business networking is included as a job performance objective immediately upon hire;
C) Mentoring and training on converting connections into sales is provided; and
D) Monetary incentives for doing so are offered.
With this preparation, newer team members will be ready to make the transition – and, the business will grow faster with better staff retention.
Networking Tip: Ask Your Current Contacts – I am certainly an advocate casting a wide net when networking. And, one of the best ways to do that is to attend a variety of groups’ events. But, don’t overlook the fantastic resources at your fingertips. If you are clear with your current connections about the characteristics of the new connections you would like to meet and you askthem to introduce you to people they know with those characteristics, you should get very good results. You will probably find fewer unexpected surprises this way, so combine this method with attending a variety of groups’ events.
Don’t forget how important it is for you to physically move around and about when you’re at a networking event. You can’t work a room when you are stationary!
Try networking with a partner. It’s sometimes easier to promote another professional’s business than it is your own and you may also find that you’ll attend more networking events if you have someone else to motivate you.
‘Tis the season for Holiday Parties. Flick through your rolodex and think about which of your contacts might benefit from meeting each other. Invite them all along to a networking event, party or celebration. You’re contacts will appreciate the invitation and you’ll enjoy being at the center of connecting others.
Networking is not about keeping score. Networking involves building strong relationships based on trust and mutual respect. When trust and goodwill are present people will naturally want to help each other whenever they can.
Forming alliances is easier when you don’t have an immediate need. Start networking now and focus on building mutually-beneficial relationships that will pay off down the road
Gratitude is under done in today’s business world. Expressing gratitude to business contacts and clients helps cultivate relationships that will lead to increased referrals. People like to refer others to business professionals who are friendly and appreciative. Thanking others at every appropriate opportunity will also help you stand out from the crowd.
When attending a networking event remember to “work the room” and don’t get caught up speaking with one person for too long. Move on with a polite “It was nice meeting you … “