Must I Network To Increase My Net Worth?
Did you get the correct inflection when you were reading the title? If you heard the same whine with which a child says, “Do I ha-a-a-a-ve too?” You nailed it, friend. 😉
Being crammed into a space with scads of people I don’t know for any reason is about as appealing to me as eating the potato salad that’s been covered with flies for hours while sitting in the sweltering heat of a summer’s day. Blech. No thanks. It’s just not my thing. And, it’s probably not high on your list of pleasant things to do, either. Is it?
From afar, the idea of networking sounds appealing. The thought of connecting with people who, in turn, will be able to help you make connections is exciting! Your mind began connecting dots and your feet followed, willingly.
Right up until the moment someone hands you the “Hello! My name is _______” tag and you peer past the welcome table into the teeming masses. *gulp* Your palms grow moist and your heart begins to pound…
If this is you, odds are you are an introvert. Hey! Welcome to the club. 😖 Just because we prefer our ship to sail on a lower keel, doesn’t mean we are the geeks we’re proclaimed to be! We make up somewhere between 16-50% of the population. That’s a pretty wide range, huh? Apparently, some of us have figured out how to adapt to uncomfortable situations so well, the statistic takers are not sure we are introverts at all!
Dave Roos, at How Stuff Works, listed 10 ways to overcome and shine at those nasty network extravaganzas. We’ll share 5 with you.
- Volunteer! Working the event is not only a great way to avoid the standing around twiddling your thumbs moments, it lets people see the real you. When we are focused on our task, it distracts us from our uneasiness. And it brings people to you!
- Have an awesome business card or no business card at all! Think of a catchy way to get your info out there! And hand them out like candy! Hand out candy, for that matter. Oh! And if there is a way to link your business to a specific candy, use that one!
- What’s the magic number? I love this tip! Set a reasonable number of contacts that you want to make and keep track! When you hit the number, boom! Out the door it is!
- Be interested. Not interesting. Those are Dave’s words, not mine. We don’t have to rave about our awesomeness. Really. Just listen to what the other person is saying. Ask questions, be attentive. If this person is someone you want to contact in the future, ask for their info and leave yours with them. When you call, odds are, your approach was so refreshing, you will be remembered.
- Follow up like a boss! Don’t just send an email expressing the “hey, nice to meet you” with a “hope to hear from you in the future” sentiment! Bring up an interesting tidbit of info that pertains to the business end of the conversation. Show them you were so impressed by what this person had to say, you went home and found out more! Or if Sophia mentioned, during the “the holidays are almost upon us” chit chat, that she loves to bake, send a pic of your well-worn “Grandma’s Sugar Cookies” card. Talk about making an impression! Grandma’s recipe? Come on, now!
The bottom line is there is a value to networking. It can be a substantial tool in your net worth. And, if you go around handing out Grandma’s recipe’s… Well… Life long friendships can be made of things such as this! And, that’s net worth on a whole different level! Go get’em! 😉