Are you energized when you network?
When you network with other people, you need to be more aware of the energy that you bring to the conversation, whether you are face to face, on the telephone or even when you are networking on Linkedin.com, Facebook or Twitter. Your energy translates through all of these mediums and sends a powerful message about you. It influences the probability of making a good connection that might result in a meaningful new relationship forming. And that could be very good for your career and for your business!
[audio:http://www.kathymcafee.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/the-e-factor_bring-energy-to-your-networking.mp3]Listen to this mp3 file
How I met my best client. Dick Adams, CEO and founder of ElisitSolutions, LLC and I met for the first time at an organized networking event about 4 years ago. It was one of those early morning get togethers with business people from different companies and industries, but who all shared the desire to leverage networking to grow business. At the start of the meeting, each of us had to stand and give our elevator pitch or “30 second commercial” as it is sometimes called. Don’t you just hate that moment? It’s like the most aerobic part of the day.
The woman next to me stood up and gave what I considered to be the perfect pitch. The scary part for me was that she and I did very similar things and I become even more nervous about how I would introduce myself. How could I differentiate myself? How could I do better than she had done? (note: the wrong kind of thinking on my part!) I finally mustered the courage, stood up and introduced myself. I don’t recall what I said, but I do remember what happened at the end of the meeting. Dick Adams came up to me to seek my help. He referenced the content in HER elevator pitch. I pointed out this case of mistaken identity, but he insisted on talking with me. Sure glad he did, because he became a great client, a good friend and adviser, a brand ambassador and a mentor of mine.
How did that happen?
I think it had a lot to do with the E factor. While the woman sitting next to me spoke the perfect words and created a lot of relevance in her message (the R factor); she was very subdued. I, on the other hand, brought my energy, intention and conversational skills into the networking meeting with me. I believe that my E trumped her R. But then, you never know for sure…
p.s. Wouldn’t it be great to have both energy and relevance…..and authenticity, and believability and memorable. For more information, check our MR ABE criteria for polishing your networking introduction. All part of the Perfect Your Pitch networking skills training program that we offer. (see STORE on AmericasMarketingMotivator.com)
So what can you do to ensure that you bring the right kind of energy with you into a networking situation (or job interview, or presentation, or discussion with your boss….)
What can you do now to bolster your E factor? Start by asking yourself these questions:
- Do you smile when you enter into networking? Is it a fake “I really don’t want to be here, but I’m smiling best I can” kind of smile? Or are you genuinely happy to be there meeting new people and reconnecting with old friends?
- How’s your handshake? Is it professional, signally equality and confidence, or do you do the “finger tip grab”, the “vice”, the “death grip” or the “wet fish?” Learn about the 8 world’s worst handshakes and don’t do them. I recommend that you read the book The Definitive Book of Body Language by Allan Pease.
- What kind of eye contact do you make? Do you talk to the carpet (eyes cast down) or look over or through people? Do you stare them down? Is it too intense? The eyes are the windows to the soul. Is it time for a little Windex?
- How do you use your voice? Do you speak in a droning monotone or is there some level of vocal intonation? Remember the many dials you have on your vocal dashboard: volume, speed, high-low pitch, timbre/quality. Play the many controls.
- What are you signaling with your body language? How’s your posture? Are you standing with both feet grounded or are you leaning off-balanced? Are your hands in your pockets or crossed at your chest, projecting a intimidation or a closed position? Studies show that 58% of the meaning of your communication is taken from your non-verbal communication, or body language. Know what you are signaling.
So, what’s in it for you? For starters, you may have the opportunity to meet your best client at a future networking event or connection. Harnessing your energy and making it work more positively for you can also do fantastic things for your health (mental, physical and emotional). Think about the energy that you bring with you and consider how you can change it for the better. That’s the E factor!
photo credit: Leo Reynolds featured on Flickr.com