At networking events, do you fail to project the image you desire? Do you find it difficult to turn networking conversations into relationships that lead to sales?
It may be because you are not speaking strategically to project a spirit of cooperation.
Here are some “Networking No-No’s” (behaviors that work against a spirit of cooperation):
• Doing most of the talking and/or interrupting your conversation partner: Instead, find out about the other person. Ask questions, listen actively, and respond with words and body language. Mirror back to the speaker what you have understood him/her to say. Let your conversation partner do most of the talking!
• Trying to sell your products/services: Instead, give before you get. Listen for ways that you can help your conversation partner. Offer introductions, suggestions, information, invitations, volunteering, advice, etc. This increases the likelihood that your listener will want to collaborate and reciprocate!
• Being carelessly “broad” in attempting humor with people you’ve just met: Instead, when using humor, stick to self-deprecating humor. Remember that individual sense of humor (influenced by culture and other complex factors) is a delicate and mysterious phenomenon. If you tell a joke or make a comment in jest that the listener doesn’t understand, misconstrues, or simply does not find funny, your attempt at humor may backfire. When you wish to use humor with a new acquaintance, poke fun at yourself. Most people will appreciate your humility and ability to take yourself lightly.
When networking, be a “smart talker” in the true sense of the word. Project a spirit of cooperation and begin building relationships that lead to sales!