I hate networking!

I hate networkingDoes that sound like something you might say?

Sticking with this a little bit longer, here are a couple of other statements I’ve heard from consultants about networking. Are any of them familiar to you, too?

  • “I feel like I’m intruding on a conversation that’s already in progress.”
  • “What could I possibly say to the speaker that she hasn’t heard a million times before?”
  • “It’s nice to reconnect with old friends, but as for meeting new people – it just doesn’t seem to happen!”

Coming from someone who wants to build a consulting practice, these statements are bad news. Many consultants say they get the most of their business through referrals.

And they make those referral connections through networking.

Hating networking will get in the way of your building a successful practice. So, if you need to improve your attitude and/or your networking skills, keep reading!

What do these statements reveal?

Take a look at those statements above, and you’ll see that there’s one theme common to all three: a lack of purpose. The hapless networker isn’t sure what he has to offer, or why he’s even at the networking event. Naturally, he ends up drifting around the edges of the crowd or sticking with people he already knows. Either way, it’s a waste of time.

No wonder he hates networking!

How to change the dynamic?

Great networkers are made, not born. Like every other “champion,” they follow a training regime that over time gets them to the top of their game and keeps them there.

When it comes to networking, three of the key components of training include:

  1. Set a purpose and a goal for the networking event.
  2. Figure out who you intend to meet and prepare what to say.
  3. Make sure you come away from each conversation with an appropriate next step.

Of course, this short list is misleading. Networking skills don’t develop overnight. Even setting a goal isn’t something that just “happens.”

Following a step-by-step networking training course can set you up for success.

Professional Networking Guide miniIf you need to polish up rusty networking skills, or develop some new ones altogether (for example, that include taking advantage of social media!), read more about our Professional Networking Guide. It’s packed with “how-tos” for avoiding intimidation, starting up conversations, keeping from getting stuck – and ending the conversation in a way that continues the relationship.

We’ve drawn on years of our own consulting to put this together, and added new ideas from other professional networkers.  Get more details now.

The Marketing Machine®
Virginia Nicols

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