Use Networking for Prospecting

Use Networking for Prospecting

We’ve heard it all before. Prospect. Network. Get your name out there. Go to meet up. Join a local organization….but the question is how & why?

Well, first things first…it’s not what you know. It’s who you know. Your success, brand awareness & chances of referrals come directly from your network. That’s why it’s so essential to make good connections with leaders in your industry, previous clients & prospective referrals. Networking is just a broad term & can be interpreted differently. But network requires good, positive, professional & productivity networking.

Are you still asking how & why? Ask no are 5 tips you can use wherever you are to help build your network!

Be Prepared

The single most important step to network! More often than not, you will find people who want to “network” but can be completely unprepared. No business cards. No intro. No personal branding. No testimonials. No etiquette. Let me tell you – this will cause instant failure when networking. Wherever you are, whoever you are meeting – you MUST be ready to exchange with the person you are meeting. If you’re at an event, keep your smartphone available to take notes or refer to a traditional note pad. Know how to professionally introduce yourself. Have business cards available to exchange contact info….do you get my drift? Be prepared.

Be Present

The word present…another word that creates different connotations. Being present wherever you are isn’t about just being a body – it’s about full awareness. Be present. Be involved. Be engaging. Be focused. Give your full attention to whatever is happening. Meet people & engage in dialogue. If you’re too nervous to approach & strike up a conversation, start with saying hello to whoever is sitting beside you. You never know..maybe they’re feeling the same way. Let them know who you are, what you do, why you do it, why you love it & how you can be reached! Maybe schedule an appointment for coffee for further dialogue…but the point is, be present & aware! When you have the state of mind of success, professionalism & creating a strong network, nothing should stop you. You’ll start to enjoy networking & talking to strangers a heck of a lot more!

Be Inviting

My friend, Vince Fowler, once told me, the key to being approachable is this: Be interesting – not just interested. Don’t expect people to come to you to network. You need to get off you ass & go do it. That’s why I said in my introduction, have an intro prepared. I don’t care if your social or shy – be interesting & let people know why you are. Say hello. Strike up  conversation. Smile. Buy someone a coffee. Do something…Networking isn’t just about business cards, it’s much more. It’s about being interesting enough to engage in dialogue with those you want to meet. The only way to do so is to be proactive, excited & focused. You have no idea how many people out there feel the same as you…shy, reserved, introverted, worried, scared, fearful…why? Because of the unknown. I say screw the unknown & jump in….you have nothing to lose! Look: NEVER allow anyone the chance to leave your aura without them not meeting you. They need to know who you are…simply because you have something they don’t. Do NOT expect anyone to come to you….you must control the process & go to them…that is if you want it bad enough!

Be Curious

Everyone has strengths & weaknesses. Everyone has opportunities. Everyone has something we all wish we had. Well, that’s where you come in….start becoming interested in others. Start to seek information, knowledge, wisdom, motivation, inspiration or whatever it is from those you meet. The more you seek, the more you engage, the more you talk, the more you ask will leave them wanting to know simply about you. Be unique, be inquisitive, be engaging. Stop asking standard questions like: “What do you do? – What do you like? etc..”. Perhaps ask questions like how they have been working in the industry? What makes them passionate about what they do? What challenges do they face? What makes them wake up in the morning & do what they do? Dig deep…stop skating on the surface! Learn about them…& enjoy doing so!

Be Reciprocal

The last & critical step to networking. Nothing is more annoying when there is no reciprocation. Networking, relationships & dialogue is a 2 way street. Simple. If someone sends you a referral, gives you business, buys you coffee or shares their secret to success….DO THE SAME! Stop being selfish. Be willing to help them grow if they’re helping you grow. If you introduce yourself, engage in dialogue & initiate conversation – you give information up first. Not them. Networking is about allowing people to know about you so they get engaged. Think of new ways you can help others more than they can help you. This reciprocal & initiating attitude will engage people to you & make the entire networking process enjoyable, successful & create a snowball effect to your personal brand.

So tell me, what is your take away from this? What more would you add? What would you change? What would you do differently?

I’m interested. Engage in dialogue with me!

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Asif Premji

Asif Premji

I believe in happy ever afters, whether they’re in books or life. I believe that the world is an occasional scary place, one where we need to carve out caves of safety. I believe in the power of the human spirit. I believe it’s a sin to be bored in a world filled with information, beauty, and fascinating things around us. I believe in making a positive difference – everyday – in the lives of everyone I meet. No judgements. No ego. No expectations. Making a difference in just ONE life means that ONE life made better. God Bless.

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I first met Asif on Twitter. I had just walked away from one of the worst car shopping experiences I'd ever had (a Kia dealership) and *tweeted* it. Very soon after I received a tweet back from this "Asif Premji" guy. "Sorry to hear your car buying experience wasn't more positive - what are you looking for?" 

This was the first of many messages which has lead to not only the purchase (six months later) of a new Honda Civic Si for my wife but a professional and loyal relationship with Asif and his team. 

There is outstanding customer experience and then there is the unexpected and appreciated *Asif* level of customer experience. 

I would not hesitate to do or refer business with Asif and his team. By far one of the most enjoyable and confident car buying experiences in my lifetime. 

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If you're going to buy a Honda, it's well worth the trip to Okotoks and buy from anyone on Asif's team

Vince Fowler
Vince Fowler Friend & Client of Okotoks Honda

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