Welcome Nancy McCabe as our guest blogger this week! Nancy was Tuni’s professional coach & they’ve remained dear friends and colleagues. Nancy is a business coach located in the Boston, Massachusetts area who serves clients across the globe. In 2008, she founded Results Business Coaching to support clients and businesses on their journeys to success. She is highly regarded for her training, speaking, and individual coaching programs. Currently, Nancy continues to train and speak by request but dedicates most of her time to providing clarity and guidance through dynamic one-to-one coaching programs.
Networking is very much alive but the dreaded elevator pitch is finally dead - and not a minute too soon!
We’re replacing the phony, one-sided, introductions that cause other people’s eyes to glaze over while they silently scream, “Please get away from me!”, with a calm curiosity that gets people talking. When we listen to others, we uncover the clues that allow us to make real connections with them, and to support them in unexpected ways. Science shows that providing people with the chance to talk about themselves gives them as much pleasure as food . . . or money!
Before we delve into the how-to’s for meeting new people, let’s think strategically about your career, your business, or your cause. What are you striving to achieve over the next 12 months and who can help you succeed? Are they potential clients, mentors, investors, partners, distributors, inventors, recruiters, coaches, consultants, or (fill in the blank)? Stretch your imagination and ask, “Who enjoys working with me, using my product or service, investing in my business, or contributing to the cause I’m passionate about?” Now flip the question and ask, “Who can I help succeed, and how?” The clearer your vision, the easier it is for you to motivate yourself to get out the door and meet people.
Pam’s a realtor and the Mom of twin toddlers who finds most of her first-time home buyers through referrals and at local Moms’ groups.
Some of Calvin’s financial advising clients meet him through the local chapter of his college alumni group.
Sheri’s a recruiter who’s looking for people with jobs who might be open for a change, so she’s a regular at industry-sponsored workshops, training programs, and social events.
Yoga and spin classes are where Jay meets folks who are interested in his nutritional counseling.
When you’ve identified a person you really want to meet, do your homework, pack your business cards, dress to impress, and show-up expecting the best. Stay focused on quality not quantity.
Merin is a legend in the start-up world and a person Keith really wanted as an advisor and a potential investor. When he saw that Merin was speaking at a local conference he attempted to line-up an introduction through his former boss and failed. Undeterred, he did his homework before approaching Merin after lunch. He introduced himself and asked, Is it true that you played Lacrosse for UConn? Thought so – we’re rivals - what years did you play? The conversation quickly switched from college sports to start-ups. The minute Keith asked Merin for advice, he got his full attention. Keith left with Merin’s private cell number and the encouragement to call him anytime.
Doug was looking to expand his network and was resigned to the fact that networking is supposed to be terrible. He fully expected to go to a room full of strangers and try to make a “connection” and convince another person, in a short conversation, of his brilliance. With a new perspective and preparation, Doug was able to identify people he really wanted to connect with, and when he did meet them, he focused only on them. When the time was right he was able to share his story and develop a valuable relationship. Now he says networking is easy.