It’s frustrating. You are attending all of the right networking events and industry meetings, but something is not clicking. Your new business prospect list isn’t growing. The phone is not ringing with networking follow-up calls.
The issue might be your communication style. From time to time, we all get wrapped up in our own business aims and lose sight of the point of any communication – the exchange of information. Developing a cosy self-awareness can be your biggest networking ally. So watch for the 4 primary networking missteps that will hinder you from being as effective a networker as you’d like.
1. Mixed Messaging. Infrequently we think that we are sending one message, when our attitude and words actually say something different altogether. So be clear about the business message you want to send. State it to yourself before your one-minute elevator speech at a networking event. Rehearse a second, more casual but concise, business definition for unstructured networking opportunities . If you aren’t convinced, no one else will be. For example, I latterly concluded that trying to promote a talent I don’t enjoyed was hampering my networking success. After I got clear about this it was much easier to clearly position and pitch the abilities I was committed to expanding.
2. Tasteless Response-itis. It occurs all the time. I see it in networking, during client meetings and in promoting systems. You state your key business message and then you fail to respond suitably to the input or response that you receive. Maybe you keep making an attempt to make the same point over and over ( only a touch restating your primary point ). Maybe you are racing ahead in your consciousness pondering what you want to say next instead of listening to what’s being asserted to you. You see somebody else you “must ” talk to and your attention is compromised. In any communication, it is vital to really listen. Process the reply you receive and make it part of your own response. For example, responses that indicate active listening include : “I’m happy to hear you exclaim that… ” “that is’s a fascinating point because… ” Give and take, rather than one-sided promotion, is the only real way to move conversation forward in a manner that’s respectful to both parties.
A case of indecorous response-itis : I latterly inquired about a business service. In spite of the indisputable fact that I told the sales representative exactly what information I needed in order to make a buying call, the sales representative kept responding with what sounded like “scripted ” replies. After a few minutes it was obvious that this person did not know the way to go off script to shut the sale or to literally make a response to my questions. Stay flexible. Listen and let the oral cues you receive define your contribution to the conversation.
3. Body Language Blocks. Effective business networking also entails watching for body language cues. If you happen to feel your message is being “blocked, ” look to determine if the individual you are talking to has their arms crossed in a determined demeanour. Watch for such cues and use your own body language to definitely reinforce your message. If someone is presenting such a closed body posture keep your posture relaxed and open. Use hand gestures with your palms upward. In an agreeable manner probe to find out what interests them or is crucial to them. People like to discuss themselves and they want to know their wishes are heard. When both yours and their body language is relaxed and respectful ( e.g. Making good eye contact ) your business message has much more chance of coming across successfully.
4. Missing Message Confirmation. This may appear obvious, but regularly it is simple to forget to ratify that your key networking message was obviously received. As an example, you can reinforce your business message during networking by exclaiming, “Now that I have told you all about my promoting expertise in consumer products, tell me about your business. ” if you are attempting to relay product information ask an open-ended question such as, “What questions have you got about these nutritional products in particular formulated for women? ” It’s the equivalent of asking in an individual situation, “Am I making sense? “
Flourishing business networking takes comfortable self-awareness and your complete attention. When you start and end talks obviously, while staying alert to physical cues, and are flexible and open to specific unproven opportunities which naturally arise in any conversation, your message gets heard loud and clear.
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