>“Most conversations are simply monologues delivered
in the presence of witnesses.” – Margaret Millar
I am so excited to discuss networking in my ezine this month because it is a topic I have experienced a 180-degree change in over the course of my career. I used to approach networking events like one would a root canal. I’d force myself to talk to people but
secretly wish I could hug the wall and hide behind the coffee stand. Now I thoroughly
enjoy networking and have met many wonderful clients, colleagues and friends through
the practice. In fact, many of you reading this newsletter may have met me this way.
So what changed? A big factor was realizing the true purpose of networking. It’s not to
sell something. It’s to learn about others’ products, services and needs to see if there is
a business fit in some way.
It also helped to learn a few simple phrases that made it easy to start and conclude conversations, like “So what brought you here today?” or “It was so nice meeting you,
I am looking forward to keeping in touch.”
When I realized how many clients I have met through networking, I stopped perceiving these gatherings as rooms full of strangers. More accurately, they are rooms full of clients and colleagues I just haven’t met. And the more networking I do, the more familiar faces I see each time, so that makes it easier too.
TIP: Experiment with making no attempt to sell at your next networking event. Put all
your energy on learning as much as you can about the people you talk to, and notice the difference.
This article may be reprinted when the copyright and author bio are included.
©2009 Barbara Wayman, BlueTree Media, LLC.