When I teach networking skills to business professionals, I often hear about the parts of the process that they dislike. They mention dislike for having to: talk to strangers; go to events where they don’t know anybody; give their elevator pitch; ask for referrals and introductions. It’s as if social reluctance takes all the joy out of the networking process of connecting with people.
Well, I’d like to challenge that today and encourage you to get “that loving feeling” back into the your networking process. Allow me to share some inspiration:
Twenty things that I LOVE about the process of networking:
- I love meeting new people.
- I love talking to strangers and creating energy and joy in the moment.
- I love personalizing my follow-up and making people feel good knowing that I remembered them.
- I love conducting networking experiments and seeing how quickly I can connect with people of greater influence.
- I love attending networking events.
- I love landing new business that resulted from a networking connection.
- I love sitting down for coffee and getting to know more about someone new: their business, their families, their dreams, their passions, their challenges.
- I love sharing my knowledge and resources that help people solve their problems and move toward their goals.
- I love brainstorming with people about new ideas (Warning: I have a hard time turning off the idea factory once you get me going)
- I love seeking other people’s advice and getting external feedback on my ideas.
- I love connecting with people via telephone or Skype and exchanging information and ideas.
- I love to find old friends, former colleagues and people that I know on Linkedin and learning what they are currently up to.
- I love realizing how small the world really is when I discover that I know people who know people that I want to meet.
- I love learning how social media works to help us share content and and stay better connected.
- I love teaching college students about networking and helping them find better ways to launch their careers other than trolling job boards and filling out applications in which they will be competing with hundreds of other people.
- I love reflecting on the value chain of networking and casting my memory back to the multiple connections that helped to create a specific opportunity.
- I love reading books and blogs about the best practices in networking, sales, marketing, business and personal development.
- I love and appreciate the people in my network, who have taught me so much, have opened doors of opportunity and have become my good friends.
- I love speaking about networking at meetings, conferences and conventions. I always meet such cool, motivated people!
- I love writing this weekly blog and sharing my networking tips and motivating energy. (I hope you love reading it too!)
So what do you love about the networking process?
There has to be something that you like and could enjoy more about the networking process. You just need to put more heart and soul into your networking. The process of networking may force you to get out of your comfort zone…and that’s a good thing. It’s good for your character development, your people skills, your career advancement and your business prospects.
Your Networking Goal for this Week:
Write down your own list of the things that you love about the process of networking and the results it has created for you. See if you can make your list longer than my list. Share your ideas on our Facebook page – Networking Ahead for Business
Tip: if your mind wanders to the dark side and you begin to think of the things you hate about the networking process, I encourage you to take those negative ideas, shrink them down and throw them away in the trashcan in your mind. It’s time to fill up your mind and body with positive, grateful and loving thoughts about your career, business and future. By embracing the process of networking with more heart and soul, you will find yourself having more fun and greater success more quickly!
About the writer: Kathy McAfee is known as America’s Marketing Motivator and is author of the book Networking Ahead for Business (Kiwi Publishing 2010). In her role as Executive Presentation Coach and Professional Speaker, Kathy helps her clients to become the recognized leaders in their fields by mastering the art of high engagement presentations, more effective networking and personal marketing. To learn more about Kathy, visit her web site MarketingMotivator.net. If you like this tip and want to receive free networking tips on a weekly basis, please sign up at NetworkingAhead.com