Nothing kills your networking success like anxiety for getting business.
Anxiety can perhaps signal financial stress, and generally people want to do business with successful people who are positive about their businesses. Remember that anxious people are less referable.
Here are 3 networking traits anxious networkers may exhibit and some recommendations to avoid them:
This person will launch into a sales pitch at BNI without creating a strong connection with members – it could be perhaps someone new to the chapter. Fast pitchers generally in any networking scenario tend to have a network that is a mile wide but an inch deep, because they haven’t yet spent the time building relationships. This technique is less likely to work well in the long-run, as you need to build trust and credibility to ultimately bring in business.
- Remember to ask questions and engage with your audience.
- Take the time to really get to know everyone at a meeting, and afterwards through 1 to 1 meetings.
- Always keep in mind not to confuse networking, with direct selling and launching into sales mode. It can be easy to do, but think about what’s topical and of interest to your audience and then speak to that.
In some networking situations you may have come across the person that thinks the closer they get when they’re talking to you, the more you’ll be interested in what they’re saying. Not entirely true.
In fact, it can have the opposite effect.
- So, what’s the right distance to stand from someone without getting into their personal space? Keep things roughly at “arm’s length” for people that you meet at a networking event.
- Give people personal space and take some time to let them breathe.
- Also, we suggest you keep things positive and light – you don’t want to get too heavy with conversation especially at morning meetings.
The new bestie
Following up with the people you meet at a networking event is important. But always take a professional approach. The new bestie, can be the person who calls you, emails you, social media messages you, and tries to become your New Best Friend after meeting you at a networking event. All in the space of just a few days.
- Follow-up with all contacts as soon as you can but decide on one approach that will work best. That’s the beauty of 1 to 1s at BNI. With new visitors and members, we have a unique avenue to help us follow up with new contacts and to enrich relationships with existing members.
Relationships at BNI need to be a two-way street – by completing 1-to-1’s with your fellow members you will naturally find common ground and more easily refer each other. Remember to slow down, keep things positive, give people space and form quality lasting relationships. When we do this, we build strong networks and business will naturally follow.