Many of you know that I am BIG supporter of networking for my business and yours. An article in Direct Selling Education Foundation focused on “Three Networking Mistakes” and before the light bulb went off – I am sure that I made them. Entering room filled with people that I didn’t know was definitely out of my comfort zone.
1. Focus on building relationships. This is part of long-term planning because if your contact can’t help you now, they may in the future be a customer or know someone who can use your product. This should have been a no-brainer since this was key when I worked as a Social Worker. I now look at people as connectors (for lack of a better word). They may or may not be my customers but as they get to know me, they will happily refer me (and my products) to other customers. A key example is a customer, Heather, who is also a vendor/crafter. We met, she bought product and now is my biggest promoter. She tells everyone how much she loves her product (and me). We are building a relationship as I help her with her “new” craft business sharing tips and ideas.
2. Don’t play the role of counselor; keep the conversation social and friendly. WOW! this also seemed so basic. When asked what I do, I share about Thirty One but then try to focus on the other person, practicing Dana Wilde‘s 10-second rule. This leads into the next mistake..
3. Digging too deeply into people’s lives makes them uncomfortable. By using the 10-second rule I have learned to just stick to the “general” areas of a person’s life without getting too personal. Of course, the social worker side of me loves to know more but I am learning that it isn’t important in my direct selling business. Knowing basics MAINLY helps me to remember tidbits about people that I meet so that when we meet again, I can talk to them in a little bit more detail. For example, after the initial basic meeting; the next meeting I will be able to call children and/ or hubby by name or ask about their job.
Networking has been a key to growing my business over the last several months. We all will make mistakes but we need to learn from them, bless and move on. What advice would you give for successful networking? Please share your comments below!
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!