Networking events offer lots of opportunities to gain connections and get clients, but they’re also intimidating, particularly for introverts. With so many people there, how do you stand out from the crowd?
In this video, you’ll learn six easy steps that you can take to form real connections with the people you talk to, showcase your great communications skills, and make sure they remember you after the event is over.
Hello, this is Victoria Lioznyansky, and I help entrepreneurs overcome their fear of public speaking and transform into confident, compelling, and captivating speakers.
And today, we are going to talk about networking. Here are my six steps to ace any networking event, and to gain connections and clients.
Step number one: be yourself. This is so important. When you come to a networking event pretending to be someone you're not, everyone can see it a mile away. You go there to build an actual, authentic human connection, and the only way you're gonna do that is if you are your authentic self. So don't pretend to be more important than you are. Don't pretend to have a bigger business than you have. Don't pretend to be somebody you're not.
But don't underestimate your achievements either, particularly when you talk to somebody who is an influencer in your field. Don't try to look at them as a groupie looks at an idol. Be an equal. You want to be your authentic self, but you're still equal to everybody out there. They're still real people. You know they may be influencers that may be really, really, really important people in your field, but they're still people. They're still just like you. Keep on reminding yourself that. They are just real people exactly like you and me. So when you are out there talking to an influencer, be yourself. Do not try to underestimate who you are.
Step number two: listen. Some people think that how you talk is the most important thing at a networking event. This cannot be further from truth. The most important thing is how you listen. You need to listen a lot more than you talk. Make this all about them. Don't make it about yourself. Don't be, me, me, me, me, me, let me tell you about me.
Listen to them. Let them talk. And don't just pretend to listen when in reality you are maybe thinking about your own thing, or maybe scanning the room for somebody else. Actually, truly listen. Listen, ask questions, make thoughtful comments.
Show them that you're very interested in this one person. Be very real in your interest. Don't fake it. Find something very interesting about that person, there's always something, and ask questions about that.
People will remember you if you listen. People love to talk, right? And so most people out there are going to be talkers and if you are a listener, a smart listener who asks questions, who comments on what they say, they will remember you, and they will appreciate you for who you are.
Step number three: build a connection. This is a continuation of step number two. While you're listening you are trying to establish a connection, and the easiest way to establish a connection is to find a common ground. So as a person is talking, you're trying to find some common interests that you may have, some commonality in your business, maybe some people you know in common. You're looking for that common ground to build a connection with this person. Finding a common ground is the fastest way to build a connection.
Step number four: state your elevator pitch, focusing on the benefits to your clients. Here is what I mean by that: at some point in your conversation, if you've been listening and asking questions and building a meaningful connection, the other person will ask you, "So what do you do?" And this is your moment to shine. This is your moment to say exactly what you do, and it's very important to state it in a way that shows benefits versus what you do. Here is an example: "So what do you do?" "Oh, I do web design." Okay. It was informative. Yes, I understand what you do, you do web design, but that tells me nothing. It tells me absolutely nothing about what you do.
Versus, "So what do you do?" "Oh, I help small business owners build websites that convert leads into prospects and clients." Now you stated not just what you do, but how what you do benefits your clients, and that is huge at a networking event because you don't want to just tell everyone what you do. You want them to have a very clear idea how you can help them or how you can help people that they know.
Step number five: be generous in your offer to help. When you're building those connections at a networking event, other than listening carefully, it's very important to think of ways how you can help the other person. That should be the first thought in your mind, not, ooh, I wonder how he can help me, oh hmm, I just found a way how he can possibly help me.
No. How I can help her. Let me think who I know, let me think, “What can I do to help her in her business?” You may think of some ideas right away on the spot or you may tell them, "You know what? "This sounds really interesting. Let me think who I know who may benefit from your services."
Remember: giving not receiving. Receiving will eventually come, it always does, but you need to start from giving.
And step number six: call to action. Don't just end the conversation with, "Oh, well, you know, it's nice meeting you. Bye, have fun." Now that you've hopefully built a connection with the other person, hopefully you've found some common ground, you know a lot about them, they now know what you do and how you help your clients, finish it off with a call to action.
A call to action could be anything. It could be, "Let's exchange business cards and maybe get together for lunch." Or, "Let me give you a call next week. I know of somebody who may be interested in your services, let me tell you who it is next week when we talk." Or, "Let me send you an email with a couple of ideas that I have that may take your business to the next level." or anything like that, but end it with a call to action.
End it with something tangible that you are planning to do. And do follow up. If you promised that you were going to call next week, if you were going to email, please follow up. Even if this conversation didn't lead to a specific call to action, still always follow up with anybody you spoke to. Tell them how excited you were to meet them. Mention something from what they told you. Remember, you were listening and you were actually asking questions. Something about that person that they mentioned, include it in that email. Mention it because it shows that you actually were listening, that you were paying attention. You're gonna be one of a very few people in that networking event who actually paid attention, and people remember that.
I hope you found these six steps helpful, and I hope you're going to implement them right away. And for more training videos, you can subscribe to my channel or you can visit my website at ByVictoriaL.com. If you liked this video, please hit the like and share buttons, and good luck with everything. I will see you in my next video.
You're just moments away from taking the first step towards becoming a confident, compelling, and captivating speaker!