Let’s take the WORK out of networking, and replace it with connecting, shall we? Then instead of having to network, we’ll all be having fun netconnecting! It’s more like play that way. Or, if we think of knitting together a tapestry of the finest yarns we can find, creating the fabric of relationships could be called netknitting.
In my book, Seal the Deal, I talked about the Nine Mindsets of Networking, and my colleague and friend Steve Dorfman has done a great job of putting those mindsets into actions in his recent blog post: It’s All About Who You Know.
As Steve tells us, the word “networking, for many people, carries a stigma, conjuring up images of a room full of “Me Monsters,” all with dollar signs in their eyes, engaging in cheesy conversations.”
Here are Steve’s 5 Tips for Making Valuable Connections, and I recommend reading his blog for the details!
1. Showing Up is 80% of success
2. Pitch That Elevator Pitch
3. There are no competitors, only partners
4. Join Non-Networking Groups
5. We Should Really Do Lunch
By far, though, my favorite tip in his post is this one:
Ask for a story and listen well. Say, “Will you share a story with me, about a client you’ve recently helped?” The other person will always oblige.
- You’ll understand what they do and maybe even why they do it;
- You’ll develop a much better sense of what type of person they are;
- You’ll get them onto new conversational ground, and away from the same old script;
- You’ll learn how to position your story, making it relevant to them.