I HATE NETWORKING!!
There! I said it!
However, just like you, It’s been drilled in my head that it MUST be done in order to grow my business. I will say, however, over the past 19 years, I’ve gotten quite comfortable with networking and make it work for me.
In general, networking has proven to be the most inauthentic process of business card shoving and horn tooting. Hence the reason most, like me, hate it. However, for me, networking has been the number two most effective marketing and income generating tool for my businesses. In fact, I just wrapped up a networking session that will yield a huge return on my time investment. Because networking is such a critical component of my business and what I coach other CEOs on, I wanted to share my spin on networking and how it has worked extremely well for me and my businesses (yes plural).
7 CRITICAL STEPS TO EFFECTIVE NETWORKING
- Be EXTREMELY intentional about where you go to network. I, personally, WILL not go to events where my ideal clients are not expected to attend. If it’s less than an 80% chance that I will find my ideal clients there, you will not see me there.
- Be EXTREMELY intentional about how you work the room. In fact, I, personally, DON’T work the room. I strategically place myself in the center of the room and I will only strike conversation with those who happen to sit near or around me. That conversation is never about business unless THEY make it about business. I am usually cultivating a relationship through small talk. This in and of itself is captivating because people are expecting to be force fed a sales pitch. Nope, not from me. In fact, today’s event coordinator made it easy for me to break the ice with attendees. They mistakenly placed the wrong first name on EVERYONE’s name card. So today, I was Michael Anderson not Lisa Anderson. Most complained about the mistake. I made fun with it and used it as a means to strike conversation with other attendees. Guess what? It worked.
- STRATEGICALLY wear colors that are nonthreatening but eye catching that also happens to fit within your brand. For example, today I wore a simple black dress (nonthreatening) with an evergreen jacket (eye catching). This combination made me stand out from the crowd.
- PAY ATTENTION to the presentation and ask STRATEGIC questions. Most questions I ask, I know the answer to. However, I ask them in a way that draws attention and makes people go HMMM. I also, in most cases, stand to ask my question so I can be seen. I also state my name and business name before I ask the question.
- BE A RESOURCE and help the presenter answer questions. No, I do not hijack the event. However, if there is a gap that I can fill, I respectfully fill it (once again, drawing attention).
- STICK AROUND for a few moments after the event to speak directly with the presenters. I take a few moments to introduce myself to them and to make a strategic connection. Almost inevitably someone from the audience will come up to me while I am waiting around and say, “thank you for your input or for asking that question. It was really helpful. Sounds like you have some experience. What do you do?” Here is where my 30 second elevator pitch along with business card exchange comes in. I also provide them one more piece of advice that I know NO ONE else in the room will provide (mostly because they are afraid to give out too much information). This is one more thing that makes me stand out.
- FOLLOW UP immediately with an email expressing how nice it was to meet them. I take that time to remind them of the piece of advice I provided during the event. I then wish them well and ask to keep in touch.
The steps I’ve shared usually lead to more conversation and ultimately a closed deal.
To sum it up, I HATE networking but it works for my businesses and has served to be the number two best revenue generator. I now make IT work for me instead of ME working for it.
Lisa Anderson and Anavo Transformation Solutions LLC is the creator and home of the P.U.L.S.E.™ Profit Method For Today’s CEO. Click the image below to learn how to find and close the gaps in your business.
About Lisa Anderson and Anavo Transformation Solutions LLC
Lisa is a Strategic Business Advisor who knows through first hand experience what it takes to grow and run a successful business. She knows what it really means to remain in the game because she’s done it for 18 consistent and consecutive years. She knows what is required to take a business from start up to multi million dollars in annual revenues. She has successfully developed, coached, and implemented growth strategies that have helped hundreds of businesses succeed. She knows what it’s like to own and operate multiple businesses simultaneously. As a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Leadership Coach, and an Adjunct Professor of small business concepts, she not only has experience, but the credentials to go along with it. Unlike other Strategic Advisors, SHE IS someone one who walks the talk!
Lisa Anderson Founder and CEO of Anavo Transformation Solutions LLC which helps CEOs achieve their full potential and build profitable, bankable, scalable, sustainable, and ultimately sellable businesses. The home of the P.U.L.S.E. Profit Method For Today’s CEO, Lisa and her team of Strategic Business Advisors help organizations plan their vision, understand key impact indicators, leverage resources, scan opportunities and threats and execute their plan. For close to 30 years, Lisa has helped hundreds of business grow while maintaining a healthy and profitable bottom line.
Do you want to work with a leader who has a track record of running highly successful businesses and has already helped hundreds of other small businesses launch and grow? Or do you want to stay where you are forever? The choice is yours.
If you are an entrepreneur who is ready to take your business to the next level or if you are ready to get out of the weeds and take control of your business, schedule a 30 Complimentary Consultation with me today.
I also invite you to explore my website and learn more about how I can help you with your business, www.AnavoTransformation.com.
See you at the finish line!
Carpe Diem! Seize the day!
Lisa D. Anderson
Strategic Business Advisor & Virtual CFO
Anavo Transformation Solutions LLC