Fear is temporary; regret is permanent

Tuesday, 12th September 2017

10 possible networking regrets.

It is said when we indulge in quiet reflection we more often regret actions we haven’t taken opposed to things we have done. When it comes to networking there are certain moments when perhaps you and I should have taken that extra step but didn’t. Here are some thoughts on the 1st 2 regrets to ensure the next time you pull out …you don’t!

Bear this in mind the next time you don’t…

Regret 1 … approach someone on their own
There are nearly always people standing alone, by the wall, at an event. The usual reason is they don’t know anyone and they are a little nervous. I have been told these are ‘losers’; I retort by saying they could be but until you engage them in conversation you will not find out. I know for one thing they generally don’t go to events to stand alone and the other observation is they will be eternally grateful to you. Your fear is rejection but I just know when you are kind and polite the reaction you will get will be favourable. And if they are rude, just move on. When you approach smile, good eye contact and ask ‘Please may I join you?’ or ‘Please may I introduce myself?’ or just ‘Hello my name is Will’. I generally only use my first name, they do and I then repeat it. The issue of names is not about forgetting, it’s about not listening.

“Take that action; what’s the worst that will happen?”

Bear this in mind the next time you don’t…

Regret 2 … Approach an ‘open’ group to meet more people

At the event the vast majority of people will be talking to others. Look carefully and you will see 5 different formats. There will be couples and trios standing in ‘open’ stance i.e couples will be in a V format trios in a semi-circle. Their body language is generally suggesting they want someone, someone like you perhaps, to come and join them. Couples facing each other, trios in a triangular format and groups of 4+ in a square or circle with no gaps are suggesting at that moment they are comfortable and don’t want others there at that moment. They are the ‘closed’ groups. But always approach a closed group if there is someone there you know. Catch that person’s eye and as long as they recognise you, you will be welcomed in and hopefully introduced to the others they are talking to.
If you approach a group of ‘strangers give good eye contact to everyone and ask if you may join them. 99% of the time you will be warmly welcomed in. And you start to increase your network and build new relationships.

“Take that action; what’s the worst that will happen?”

All 10 regrets

Bear these thoughts in mind the next time you don’t…

  1. Approach someone standing alone
  2. Approach an ‘open’ group to meet more people
  3. Move on when the conversation is over
  4. Move on from a group where you have no interest
  5. Ask probing and intelligent questions
  6. Ask about the relationship with their existing advisors
  7. Ask for their card to follow up
  8. Ask permission to call them after an event
  9. Make that first follow up call
  10. Make that 2nd and 3rd follow up call

Don’t think of sales or selling when doing your business development. Think, when you have knowledge, experience and expertise which adds to a prospect’s business it is your duty to develop their business by matching their needs with your offerings

If you want details of the other 8 regrets email me at [email protected]

The author of this article is Will Kintish, leading UK authority on effective and confident networking both offline and online. If you’d like Will to speak at your conference or training workshops, call him on 0161 773 3727. Visit www.kintish.co.uk and www.linkedintraining.co.uk for further free and valuable information on both face-to-face networking and LinkedIn.