How to Network like a Superstar

One of the most powerful, and proven, ways to increase your influence and visibility in any field is to build a powerful and strong network of clients and connections. However, for many the thought of attending networking events to build their personal network is intimidating.

Below are five networking mistakes to avoid and five networking “must do” activities that will eliminate the intimidation factor of networking and transport you into the realms of a networking superstar!

Networking Don’ts

Go to make a Sale

One of the worst mistakes made when networking is to attend an event with the order book in hand. No one attends a networking event in a “buying mode”. Attendees are there to make connections, and if a sale arises – awesome. But the focus of anybody attending a networking event is to make a valuable contact first.

 

Collect cards

The number of business cards you walk away with does not determine if a networking event was a success. It is far more productive and profitable to have fewer cards but stronger connections. Resist the temptation to simply collect a card and move on to the next “target”. When you meet an interesting contact invest the time to start building a relationship with them before moving on.

 

Have poor quality business cards

Your business cards are a reflection of you and your business. Poor quality cards will cause irreparable damage to your reputation. In a networking situation first impressions count and when you offer someone a card that is poor quality it projects the image that your work is poor quality.

 

Talk all about you

A balanced conversation at any networking event is shared evenly. All parties to the conversation have opportunity to talk about what they do and whom they work with. If you find yourself talking too much –redirect the conversation so that you provide a platform for the people you are interacting with to shine.

 

Attend the wrong events

One of the worst mistakes that can be made is to spend time at the wrong networking events. When you attend any event assess the people that are there. If they are not your target market, or not likely to connect you with your ideal clients then the event is not appropriate for you. Your time is precious – invest it at networking events that will advance your goals.

 

Networking Must Do’s

Have a plan and a goal for each event

Before you walk into any room have a target for the event. Whether it’s looking for clients, referral partners or joint venture partners know what you want to get from the event. This enables you to be more targeted in your conversations and provides a platform for those in the room to help you.

 

Have a succinct elevator pitch

A good elevator pitch introduces you, what you and why your clients work with you. First impressions matter and when you can confidently articulate who you are and your value you will become memorable. Your confidence and aura of authority will be appealing and a clear elevator pitch will enable people to know immediately if they can help you – enabling you to avoid conversations that will lead nowhere.

 

Be a giver rather than a taker

We all attend networking events for personal gain – that is a given. But to enjoy success with networking your first focus needs to be how to help the people you are talking to. It can be as simple as introducing them to someone you met five minutes earlier through to connecting them with someone in your “database”. In whatever way you can look to provide help ad watch as they scramble to find any way they can to help you.

Attend regularly

Successful networking is a minimum three to six month commitment. Once you find the right events you need to attend regularly to establish a strong familiarity and trust factor. The business cliché of “people do business with people they like, know, and trust” hold true for networking. When regular attendees have seen you a few times they will build up the trust to engage more deeply with you and introduce you to their “premium” connections.

Follow up

Networking success or failure occurs twenty-four hours after the event. Success happens when you follow up with the contacts you met for a deeper discussion. It can be as simple as connecting on LinkedIn through to catching up for a more detailed discussion over a coffee. Meeting at a networking event is only the first step in establishing a profitable business relationship the fortune will only be found when you follow up.

 

Massively boosting your influence and authority can be achieved when you have a powerful personal network of connections and clients to call upon. Avoid the networking mistakes described and implement the must do activities and you will see your results from networking dramatically increase.

About The Author

Mark Kyte

Mark Kyte is a public speaking mentor and founder of the Public Speaking Skills Academy. Mark loves helping clients achieve dynamic results that help them increase their influence and get more clients. Read more of his blog and if you like what you see check out the mentoring programs.