So you want to be a better networker?
Great, well networking — like so many other things, and especially with business — comes down to relationship.
Do you have what they want? Do they have what you need?
So progress here is going to take the same thing that anything you want to improve will take — preparation. More specifically — clarity and intention.
Who do you want to meet? And why? What can you offer each other?
You know who crushes this? Andrew Kahner. I remember years ago, when I first met with him. You show up to a meeting with that guy, he’s got a list of people that you know — typically from LinkedIn — that he’d like to meet. He’s got parameters. He knows his market. And he knows what he can offer.
And in turn, he’s up for hearing who you’d like to meet. Which reminds me, hey Andrew, we need to set up another 121. Miami style. But imagine the wasted opportunity in showing up just saying, “I’d like to meet anyone.” What’s he going to do with that?
To be fair, I’m guilty of this too sometimes so don’t sweat it. But realize that we often leave things general and amorphous because we’re either afraid of eliminating possible clients, or we just haven’t done our prep enough to empower something specific.
When we market to everyone, we market to no one.
And hey, you don’t have to say the same thing in every environment and at every meeting. But if we want to spark possibility in the mind of our referral partner, or this room, we need to bring something that people can sink their mental teeth into. Something they can envision to map against their people and create an identifying connection.
So whether it’s a specific demographic, or an actual name, or just a characteristic or pain point, get clear, own it, and present it like you know you can make a difference.
You want to be a better networker?
Good — preparation and practice.
Rinse and repeat.