Earlier today I posted a video explaining how the Meet – Like – Know – Trust that we talk about in networking, isn’t just words. It is an actual process, and you can influence how rapidly, or otherwise, your contacts move through that process. The aim, of course, is that business and networking contacts trust you enough to want to work with you, and / or refer business to you.
Before you read further, if you haven’t already done so, it is well worth taking three minutes to watch the video:
I’ve been thinking about ripples on a lake, and the Meet – Like – Know – Trust.#networking
Posted by Stefan Thomas on Monday, 2 September 2019
After recording the video, I thought it would be helpful if I gave you some actual, practical actions you can take to positively influence each step and, at the same time, accelerate your success in networking.
In 2019 you may meet someone in several different ways. It may be at a networking event, networking in real life, or perhaps you may ‘meet’ them virtually on social media.
At a networking event, people often engage with you for the first time when they hear your 40 or 60 second introduction. So, specifically, you should craft your introduction so that it encourages people to want to find out more. You are aiming to give them just enough, rather than giving them so much detail that they don’t need to speak to you.
You may meet people in the open or informal part of a networking event, where you’re just chatting. Remember to follow the normal rules of being a human when it comes to the conversation. Resist the temptation to tell them all about you and, instead, give them the opportunity to tell you all about them. Every big opportunity starts with a little conversation, and this is only meant to be the start of the conversation. Engage, chat and allow the conversation to develop over time, rather than force it all into the first meeting.
If you ‘meet’ someone through social media, the same basic rules apply. Engage with them rather than broadcast to them. Look out for their posts and comment on them without trying to sell to them.
If you are a member of a Facebook Group, become an active part of that group, rather than just posting about your own stuff.
Allow people to meet you, without putting them under pressure to immediately buy from you.
One of my early mentors said to me “you want to choose who you like, but you want everyone to like you, how is that fair?”. The aim isn’t to get everyone to like you. That is a terribly futile approach, and one which I tried for years and years.
But what you can do, is give everyone enough access to you, that they can make an informed decision. Do what it takes to move the conversation forward. Organise another 121, again without trying to sell to them. Perhaps see how you can be the first to add value to the relationship, by sharing some useful information or making an introduction to a useful contact for them.
Online, despite what so many business gurus will tell you, in 2019 I believe we have a massive opportunity to attract the people to us who think the same as us, or who have things in common with us. And that comes from allowing some of our personal life to be shared on social media. Give people the opportunity to decide whether they like you, by being you, by allowing them to see some of you. Not just the business you but the personal you. In the B2B world which so many of my contacts exist in, we do often choose to do business with the people we like, I know I do. So give people the chance to decide whether they like you, by allowing them to get to know you.
Liking you is all well and good, but do you REALLY know what you’re talking about?
Demonstrating your knowledge of your subject matter, by sharing useful, informative, valuable content allows people to see exactly that. The real opportunity here is that most people won’t bother, most people won’t spend the time creating content which lets people know that they know what they’re talking about.
By the way, content isn’t just online. I also thoroughly recommend speaking about your subject wherever you can. At networking events, trade and business shows, conferences and the like. It isn’t about how good a speaker you are, it is about how useful the content is.
Content online can include articles (like this one), videos (like the one I embedded), podcasts, ebooks, white papers and your general social media output.
Give people the chance to see that you know what you’re talking about, by giving them access to your knowledge and information. I share useful content freely, it is the 121 access and bespoke 121 advice which my clients pay for.
So here’s the goal right. Do people trust you enough to do business with you or refer their best clients to you.
Broadly speaking that will come if you apply the above. This is NOT about manipulating people to trust you. This IS about demonstrating that you’re trustworthy.
When you win a client, do a fantastic job. Be prepared to listen to feedback. Turn up when you say you will. Do what you say you’re going to do.
Share positive feedback in the form of LinkedIn Recommendations, or reviews or testimonials elsewhere. Let people see who you’re working with and the results they are getting from working with you.
The more effort you put into the Meet – Like – Know stages, the more likely people are to decide whether they Trust you, and do so earlier than they will if you just leave all of this to chance.
The speed at which any of this happens, is down to how much effort you put into making it happen. It isn’t about the passage of time, it is about how committed you are to developing each relationship.
Every big opportunity starts with a little conversation. Start the conversations and make sure you put the effort in to lead you to the big opportunities.
Fancy working 121 with me for a whole month, and absolutely smash all of the above? If your networking conversations aren’t going anywhere, and you want to start turning those conversations into sales, quickly, working with me will achieve just that. For a whole month, and an investment of £495+VAT, we can get you moving and build predictable and regular results from your networking and social media. You can book straight into my diary right here – https://thenetworkingretreat.co.uk/the-networking-success-programme