by Debbie Josendale
♦ Are you so used to connecting virtually via twitter, facebook and e-mail, that you can’t remember how to talk live and in-person at a networking event?
♦ Do you want to go to a live networking event, but feel terrified because…what do you say?
Networking is a Powerful Marketing Strategy
Meet Kristy Rogers, President of Kristy Rogers Connects. Based in Silicon Valley, Kristy is The Networking Guru and has been producing networking events for the past 15 years. Recently on 3C Marketing Mojo Talk Radio, she discussed the power of networking in today’s market and why it must be a key marketing strategy to grow your small business.
Kristy generously shared her expertise with insights that will transform you networking into a powerful marketing strategy. Following is a snapshot of the conversation. The complete audio of the interview is available at the end of this article.
5 Networking Tips to Turn Contacts into
Business Connections and Customers
1) Networking Success: How are YOU showing Up at the Event
Kristy says this is the number 1 thing that most people don’t understand. We arrive at networking events with a mindset that is more outward focused on what we expect to get…get business, get introduced, get connected. When those things don’t happen, we are quick to focus on others as the problem, versus how we “showed up” for the event.
The key is to shift your mindset from “I didn’t get any business” to “How do I show up so that I am a pleasure to do business with?”
For example are you hovering with people you know, and complaining about the room and food? Or are you being inclusive, making room for others and helping to introduce them?
2) Networking Introductions: What to Say to People You Don’t Know
This issue scares most people to death! What do you say? Good news according to Kristy…start by realizing that most other people are just as anxious, awkward and uncomfortable!
- Shift your mindset and remember that when you initiate a conversation you’re saving the other person from their own experience of feeling awkward and uncomfortable.
- Smile…be open to talking to strangers, because the minute you connect they’re not a stranger anymore!
- Use small talk to test the waters to learn if this person wants to engage in conversation.
3) Networking Conversation: It’s About Them…Not You
If you find yourself doing most of the talking in a conversation, stop yourself. Let the other person have airtime.
People will feel more connected and enjoy talking with you…when they have airtime to talk about themselves and their business.
4) Networking Mistakes: It’s OK
We all suffer from the need to be perfect when we are meeting someone new. But the need to feel perfect and not make mistakes…holds us back in these kind of situations.
For example if you are talking with someone and need to introduce them, but can’t remember their name…just acknowledge it! Kristy says these moments provide magic opportunities to show our authenticity…and that is a powerful connector factor.
5) Networking Events: Schedule Time for Follow-Up
Most people think of networking as the event and only plan time for to attend. But the real key is in follow-up…so plan follow-up time in your calendar at the same time that you schedule the event.
Speaking of follow-up, Kristy shared a few of her best tips to turn those piles of business cards into leads and connections by following-up. Be sure to listen to her interview to hear those and many, many more tips that will help you turn you transform your networking. You can listen to the interview here, or right click to save and download the mp3 here.
About Kristy Rogers
Kristy Rogers is President of Kristy Rogers Connects. Recognized in 2009 as one of the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal’s Women of Influence, Kristy is an influential and award-winning community leader. In addition to producing networking events, Kristy also teaches business marketing strategies that make doing business with you and your company a pleasurable experience. Please visit her website KristyRogersConnects to learn more. You can also reach her by e-mail or call 408.288.8484.
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