Networking is so important in today’s world. Sometimes it doesn’t matter your degree or where you came from, but rather who you know. Working in politics opened my eyes to the way the world works and when I tell my story on how I got into politics it blows people away.
A Fly on the Wall?
My trick was going to as many events as I could humanly go to. By doing that, people would start to recognize me and assume I was supposed to be there (they had no clue I didn’t have a job yet). You notice who talks to who and who doesn’t like certain groups which allowed me to find my niche.
I ended up going to the lobbyist list of everyone registered in the 2015 legislative session, and I cold called as many people that seemed to be decision makers. It led me to meet my next boss who hired me on the spot and I began to learn how our government works.
Tips to Network Like A Boss
So, what skills do you need to make people like you without them knowing? How can you build relationships quickly and get ahead? Let’s dive in:
1. First Things First, Be Genuine
Being genuine is one of the most important aspects to networking. People can sense when they are being lied to or if someone is fibbing, so don’t. Yes, according to studies, humans lie every day, but people that deal with people know when they are being conned.
2. Ask More Questions
People love to hear themselves talk, especially powerful people, so ask questions. Ask how they got into business or what brought them to the city. Everyone has a unique story and for the love of God, NEVER UNDERESTIMATE SOMEONE.
You never know who knows who or someone’s financial situation. In sales, I have met people that wear sweatpants and a t-shirt but you would never guess they have more money than the richest person in your town. I have also met people in suits that are millionaires. You never know… so never assume.
3. Your Image Matters
We judge people within a blink of an eye. Studies show that it’s not 30 or 60 seconds, but rather a blink. Wear your favorite suit and dress like you own the place. What people are looking at is your appearance, the way you talk, the way you walk, and the way you order drinks.
It sounds intimidating I know, but it’s the truth. I can usually tell immediately if I am going to like someone or not when I first meet them.
4. Relate To Them
My trick to being a networking genius is being relatable. I ask so many questions that once I find something in common I focus on it. It creates a relationship or a common heritage between you and the person you are trying to get close to.
There is always a pressure point whether it’s how they came to the city you’re in, kids, family ties, how they grew up, do they play golf, the list goes on and on. Find something you can relate to with them, it will help build rapport later on.
In the case you do not have anything to relate to them about, find out their passion and ask as many questions as possible and admit you do not know anything about it. They will now talk for the next 15 minutes. You’re welcome.
5. Ask For a Follow-Up
Don’t be afraid to ask for their contact information. If it’s going well, get their card and email them the next morning to see if they are free for lunch next week.
Building relationships take are work but it is incredibly rewarding. You will make more money in life just by knowing as many people as you can.
Networking is Just the Start, Building Relationships Continues
I use these skills everyday and it has become second nature to me. I don’t even think about it when I walk into a room any more. I think of networking as a game, how many people can I meet in one night that can turn into a friend?
Set a goal to meet 5 new people at the next networking event and use these tips to see how you can build new relationships.
As usual, if your business needs my help or my networks help, I am happy to talk about it.