Get Better Results out of Networking
For any wantrepreneur, entrepreneur or serial entrepreneur, networking is absolutely essential for growth. But you’ve already heard that time and time again, have put yourself out there, but aren’t so satisfied with your results. You may be missing a key part in how to network. That’s right, it’s not just about handing your business card to the person next to you and talking about how you saved the whales by age 17. What will actually get you the results you are looking for is understanding a key business concept simply known to the masses as communication.But – Emily – I talk to people everyday? That may be true, but are they really grasping what you are saying? You want the receiver of your ‘Hello, I am Emily’ to walk away knowing that the last 5 minutes (or 50 minutes – depending on who you are talking to) saying that conversation was a big win for their work day.
Sound simple? It can be with some tips from the people who focus on events day in and day out. The challenge to networking, and honestly, to any relationship, is communication.
It’s not about your communication style but the communication style of who you are communicating to. What kind of communicator are you? There are hundreds of online models and tests to tell you what YOU are. But being a great networker isnt about you, its about the person on the other side of the conversation. How do you figure out what kind of communication style your future business contact is? It is actually a lot easier than you might think.
You can’t do research about the person you are about to meet at a networking event like you would a potential client. You are left to figure it out within the first few seconds after shaking their hand. Our favorite strategy? Bringing up the weather that day and using their response to decipher which communication style that person falls into. Here are two examples of communication styles and how they would respond to that question about the weather.
Creative: This person will love the fact that you even brought up the weather. They will talk about how it was so great to take their dog for a walk this morning, eat sugar free blueberry oatmeal before work, and the traffic before getting to the networking event. The creative communicator wants to talk about all the fluff before diving into business. By going with their flow and making that personal connection, by the time you finally get down to brass tacks, they’ll already love you.
Analytical: This person will give you a short response, and is ready to dive into business talk. If you get any response it will most likely be fact based, like the last time it rained like this was in 1997 before the World Series. This person responds to discussing numbers, stats, facts – and not to forget – will get right to the point. They don’t care about much else so when communicating, neither should you. Depending on your personality type this kind of person may be a bit jarring. Don’t be concerned. They like you just fine, they just don’t show it in their verbal communication the same way you do.
Is it that simple? Yes, it is. Understanding the communication style of who you are speaking with, and doing so quickly is what makes the difference between a good conversation and a great one. There are certainly more communication styles and even some hybrids out there. Using this method and flexing your communication style to meet their needs will get you better results from fewer conversations.