Beware Myths are Not Guiding Your Networking
Often people who are new to networking have misconceptions about what it’s all about. You might picture a room full of over-confident, slick business people that are only interested in pushing their own agenda, but fortunately this couldn’t be further from the truth!
Our Networking with a Twist events attract people from a variety of professions, but without fail they are open, friendly, generous, likeminded men and women who are keen to have a chat and share their challenges, knowledge and experience to help each other.
With that in mind, I wanted to address some other myths you may have heard about networking and set things straight!
Myth: You have to meet as many people as possible.
While it’s great to be excited about meeting lots of people, in reality this can make an event overwhelming and unproductive. Not everyone you meet will be a good match for you, so rather than running around trying to meet everyone, focus on getting to know a few people well. Take some time to have a conversation and learn more about the person you’re speaking to.
At YTM we make it our job to introduce you to people that would be a great connection for you and on registration, ask you to tell us your dream connection so we can do our best.
Myth: Introverts are no good at networking.
Because introverted people are naturally less outgoing, they often think that networking is like their own private hell. While it can take a bit more guts for them to walk into a room of strangers, it’s important to remember that all you have to do is say hello to someone. As I said above, networkers are generous and friendly people, so they will be open to conversation with you (and probably a bit nervous too!)
Myth: The only point of networking is to get new business.
In some cases, you will meet people at a networking event who will become clients, or who you will engage for their services. If that does happen though it won’t happen right away (and it might not happen at all). Instead of walking into an event with a ‘get business’ mindset, aim to start building new relationships. And even if your client roster is full, keep on going; it’s only over time that you will build relationships, which you can later call on for referrals or new business.
Myth: You’re only there to talk business.
While business building is one of the obvious reasons to network, don’t feel constrained to only chatting about your business or finding out about someone else’s. You never know where new connections will come from (or lead to) so if you’re interested in what someone did on the weekend, ask them! Are you heading off on a tangent about your dog? If the other person’s interested, finish your story. All of these seemingly-unrelated pieces of information work to form a more complete picture of the person you’re speaking with, helps you to establish rapport and strengthens the relationship. Your goal should be to have quality conversations.
Myth: It’s a chore that we must endure for the sake of our business.
If you find networking tedious, perhaps it’s time to try out some different networking groups. Once you find an engaged and supportive networking group it can be really fun! Add to this the chance to nut out a problem you’re having, get recommendations to grow your business, or be exposed to new ideas you can implement, and a good networking event can form an important and enjoyable part of your business strategy.
If it’s been awhile since your last networking session, I invite you to join us at our next Networking with a Twist~ evening. Our events offer a unique networking format providing Conversation Starter cards to encourage conversations that give you a real sense of who you are engaing with. For more information about upcoming sessions go here.