I love networking and dislike networking in equal measures… I love meeting new people, making new friends, helping people. I dislike (its not cool to use the hate word and a bit dramatic) the falseness of it. I must have tried them all over the years, from the structured you must turn up at 6:30am armed with referrals for as many people as possible and a guest at 6:45am! Eating a breakfast I really didn’t want – to those where you turn up, its free as long as you buy a coffee. You know you know what I mean!
You’ve probably started to notice that there are the same types of people who pop up at each event. Some you may enjoy getting to know, while others you try to avoid at all costs. Over the years I have categorised the networking characters into 5 main types – I’m sure there are more, but for me there are simply 5.
The Networking Tourist
The turn up very happy to be there. They talk to everyone, take pictures of stuff, and share it on social media, and you never see them again. They watch what is going on but they don’t get involved. They nod and smile a lot, but don’t participate much as they know they won’t be around for long enough to build a relationship with you.
The Networking Hunter
They are there to make connections and do business today! They collect business cards like a child who collects those cards, because behind one card has a prize attached to it.
They are singularly focused and on a mission. They are HUNTING new leads, new connections and they are focused on one thing – growing THEIR business. Their smile is broad, but not genuine.
The Networking Farmer
There’s a balance to be achieved here, often they are regarded as the networking socialiser as they treat it like a social event, they make friends, set up more “fun” things to do. If you want to have a good time then this person is great to have around. However if you need to take the event a little more seriously and its part of your business development strategy then maybe steer clear. However treated correctly this person can help you connect, nurture and develop great relationships.
After all people will do business with people they know, like & trust – and this personality can help you develop relationships with people you want and need to get to know.
The Networking Powerhouse
They are everything you have read about. They are friendly, professional and focused. They politely ask for your card and write notes on the reverse – you KNOW they will follow up with 3 – 5 new people they meet at the event and you know you’ll hear from them within 48 hours. They’ll connect with you all your social media platforms and be interested in you and your business. They are the networking olympic champions, they treat it like a task, part of their business development and each networking experience has an ROI and are text book networkers.
The Networking Connector
This person looks like they run the meeting, they know everyone. Their handshake is firm and unapologetic. Their smile is warm and genuine. The way they talk about their business is passionate and humorous – you want to get to know them. The best thing is they want to help people – they want to help YOU!
They’re at the meeting because they need to, but don’t plan on doing any business today. They will listen to what you do, ask intelligent questions and introduce you to others that may be relevant.
*** YOU NEED THIS PERSON IN YOUR LIFE!! ***
So decide on the qualities and characteristics that you admire and choose the good ones, ditch the poor one and have some fun.
Whilst we’re here here are my top networking tips:
- Always network on purpose, always go knowing what your objective is.
- What do you want to achieve, who do you want to connect with, get to know or be introduced or referred to?
- Have your elevator speech written, practiced and memorable. Aim to generate an emotional response.
- Dress for the occasion, be true to your business and be authentic.
- Most of all enjoy the process and leave an impression. 🙂
I’m a business coach who gets results and my website is https://www.themasterfixer.com/ take a look and see how I plan my business.
The Master Fixer
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