Creating a group of acquaintances and associates and keeping it active through regular communication for mutual benefit. Networking is based on the question "How can I help?" and not with "What can I get?"
The most important part of this definition is the one that is most often overlooked. Networking is not about what you can get out of it. It's about how you can help. But the fact that this part of networking is often ignored is a potential boon to those who embrace it. In most, if not all, of his speeches and seminars, Zig Ziglar said;
"You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want."
That's what Handshakin Networking is all about. By approaching people at networking events with a sincere desire to help them further their own business ambitions, you're creating a relationship where they'll likely want to return the kindness. Don't believe that if you help someone that they'll help you back, but do believe that the more you help others, generally, the more help you'll receive. As entrepreneurs with an above average risk tolerance, this give us a competitive advantage. Risk helping someone today who will never help you back.
The best way to start the process is to ask people you meet to tell you about themselves and their business. It's like an elevator pitch in reverse. Only, instead of their eyes glazing over while you talk and they wait for an opportunity to give their pitch, they get to go first.
People love to talk about themselves and their business. And, if you give them that opportunity without subjecting them to your spiel, they'll come away with a very favorable impression of you, even if you never utter a word about yourself and your business. In the process, you will most certainly exchange business cards. By doing that, you will solidify the beginning of a relationship. Watch for our upcoming post"Handshakin Networking - Following Up" for ideas on how to nurture that relationship.
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