When anyone invites you to a networking group, what is your first reaction?
Do you want to run for the hills at the thought of having to speak for just 1 minute or are you excited at the prospect of meeting new people?
When you meet people and they say “What do you do?”, can you answer them confidently or do you “um” and “er” and say things like “well, it’s hard to explain” or “I do lots of different things”?
Do you find yourself standing in a corner at networking meetings hoping nobody will speak to you or do you stick to the one or two people you already know like glue?
Being able to consciously communicate and engage people so they are interested in what you do, not only helps to raise your confidence but also ensures that people remember you and your offering, and are more likely to reach out to you and to recommend you to others.
When I learned how to consciously network my sphere of influence expanded as people mentioned my work to others, my business grew rapidly with new clients booking coaching sessions with me and I looked forward to meeting new people.
THE MINDSET OF A RELUCTANT NETWORKER
You might be a person who really doesn’t mind going to networking events but finds it difficult to come up with new and interesting one minute pitches or that catchy phrase that grabs people’s interest when they ask you what you do.
However, many people who begin networking (and even some who have reluctantly been doing it for years!) have a handful of fears that plague them:
Fear of Judgement
What if they don’t like me?
What if I stumble over my words?
What if I speak for more than my allotted time and they cut me off before I’ve said what I need to say?
Fear of Not Being Enough
I’m sure everybody there will have wonderful businesses that they can speak about endlessly and have far more to offer people than I do.
Fear of Failure
What if I do it and it doesn’t work? I will have spent time and money for nothing.
Fear of Success
What if it really works and I can’t cope with the amount of work coming my way?
All these fears are stories we tell ourselves, which helps us make excuses about why we shouldn’t go to networking events. Often this leads to justification of all the reasons why it’s not worth doing. This can make you feel better in the moment, but there’s always that nagging feeling that perhaps it would be really good and you should give it a go…. maybe next month…
THE MINDSET OF A SUCCESSFUL NETWORKER
So, how about if you could tell a different story, so you actively sought out networking groups, had a different one-minute pitch nailed every month and positively wanted to talk to as many people as you could?
Here are 3 Key ways you can make networking an enjoyable and successful part of your business:
A. Where is my tribe?
There are so many different types of networking groups out there, it can be really overwhelming to decide which ones to go to. When you feel reluctant anyway, it’s easy to not bother at all!
Top tips in choosing a networking group:
* Go with recommendation of people you know and trust
* Find groups that are likely to have like-minded people as their members
* Try them out and go with your intuition and gut instinct
* Don’t join too many – once you’ve done your research and tried them out just pick 1 or 2 that really resonate with you
B. How can I serve?
One of the key ways to change your mindset about networking is to switch your focus around to the people you will meet. When we come from a place of “how can I serve?”, we show a genuine interest in other people, wanting to find out about them, thinking of people we can introduce them to and help their business grow.
What we give out returns to us; so when you authentically focus on the people you are meeting they will show a genuine interest in you and what you offer and so the magical flow and exchange of energy begins. Conversations become easy and natural and you don’t think so much about what you have to say. Be the first person to go up to someone who is standing on their own and ask them about themselves. You might help them feel better too.
C. Am I Prepared?
Another way to change your mindset for good is to learn the Conscious Networking Formula and apply it to every one-minute talk you do. Yes, there is a very simple formula you can use every time.
Your one-minute can be broken down into 4 simple steps:
- Attention-grabbing statement (AGS)
- What you need
- Call to Action (CTA)
There are a number of different AGS’s you can use. Here are just a few of them:
- The Testimonial
- The Prop
- The Personal Experience
- The Questions
- The Offer Announcement
- The Specific Focus
Let’s take just The Testimonial as an example. There is nothing more powerful than sharing the impact of the work you do from the perspective of a client. Rather than “telling” people what you do – which is very abstract to them – you can share a real life example of how the work you do creates real results and changes for people. Speaking the words as if the client is saying them has the biggest impact. An example might be:
“I was stuck in a place of absolute despair thinking I would never shake off these feelings. After 3 sessions with XXX (your name), there was a real shift and I started to move out of this treacly feeling into a place of quiet hope and possibility…”
I have made that very general but you can be as specific as you want. Because you won’t be sharing names there is no confidentiality issue here.
You then top and tail your AGS with specifics about what you want and your CTA.
Hey Presto – an effective and memorable one minute pitch!
And this can be one of many, when you use the formula and the different types of AGS’s, to create your one-minute pitch time and again!
Having this framework takes away all the anxiety, fear, doubt and uncertainty and gives you confidence in what you’re saying.
A similar formula can also be applied to your elevator pitch (what you say when someone asks you what you do). Once you have created the framework, you can fluidly and naturally adapt it to whatever scenario you are in.
Amanda and I have created a Conscious Networking video that provides everything you need to know about the Conscious Networking Formula, giving tips and examples for your one-minute pitch and your elevator pitch. You can also access our workshops at a discounted price, where we help you to craft your own pitches in a small group environment.