It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. I am sure you have heard this saying at some point in your life. Heading up the business development at Quantify, I meet a lot of people and do a ton of networking. While I don’t claim to be a professional networker by any means, I have learned some things over the years. Here are 3 keys that I have found to make any meeting or networking opportunity more beneficial.
1) Learn to Listen
So many people want to start a meeting by diving into their sales pitch without taking a breath. While the feat in and of itself is quite impressive, it is typically not the best way to go about things. However, listening is so much more then just sitting there while the other person talks. Truly listening is taking a genuine interest in what the other person is saying. That doesn’t mean you need to be interested in every single thing the other person is talking about. For example, if I meet with a roofer and they go on and on about different roofing techniques, I really have no interest. However, I do have an interest in that person and what they are passionate about so I listening comes easy.
Another big lesson in this area is body language. If you are slouched in your chair or have your arms crossed you are immediately telling the person across from you that you don’t care about what they are saying. Sit up in your chair, make good eye contact and stay engaged. Those two things alone go a long way.
2) Get to the point
Ever been in a meeting with a person who is using nothing but industry jargon and wont stop talking? Pretty brutal right? While I respect their passion for what they do, we all need to learn to get to the point. The key to a good meeting is to get to your point and not use a ton of language that only you and others in your industry will understand. If you do, they will become uninterested very quickly and ultimately check out.
Now, I am not saying there isn’t time to talk about other things outside of the main reason for the meeting. I am all for building relationships and this is a huge part of that. The key here is to have some self-awareness and know when its time to wrap things up.
3) Provide Value
I go into every meeting trying to find a way I can give more value than I receive. Does that always work? No, but I always try my best. I am sure you are asking yourself, doesn’t he want to grow his business or get more referrals? Of course I do. But I also genuinely enjoy helping people. I know that if I always put others before myself, a byproduct of that will be them wanting to help me. So I don’t worry too much about what they can do for me.
I hope that is was helpful for you in some way. If you want to see these 3 skills in action, reach out to me and lets grab coffee (just kidding on the skills part). A big goal of mine this year is to expand my network so I would love to chat with anyone that reads my blog. I hope you all have a great weekend and of course, GO EAGLES!