Have you ever been the victim of someone verbally ‘throwing up on you’ at a networking event or in a one-to-one networking meeting? I have and I’m sure you have too. Picture the situation … you’re in a networking event and you become TRAPPED by someone who all they do for the entire 20 minutes is talk about themselves! ‘I offer this … we do that … I need this … I look for that …’ – someone get me out of here!!!
When you’re in a one-to-one situation like this it’s awful, because you really feel trapped. Sorry but in networking situations, the ‘I’s’ really don’t have it! In fact, they’ve lost it! People like this have lost the true meaning of networking. They’ve lost touch with reality because they obviously are clueless to the negative impact they’re having on the other person. It’s sad really.
They need to learn that Networking is all about ‘THEM’ not ‘I’ or ‘Me.’.
If you find yourself getting sucked into the “I” trap while networking, here’s a simple acronym to help you keep your focus on THEM … not YOU. Are you ready? The acronym is THEM. … can it be that simple? Yes, it can!!!
T … stands for Target Market
A great way to figure out how to help someone is to learn about who they serve and who they do their best work for on a daily basis. Learning about their target market can help you make connections to people in your network who might be good prospects for them. You might also find someone who works with your target market but for some other reason. They could become a referral partner for you in the future!
H … stands for Help
Helping others is what networking is supposed to be about. Find out who they’re looking to meet. Find out what goals they’re trying to meet and what they want to achieve. Find out what information they might be seeking or problems they have in their business. Connect them to people who can help.
E … stands for Experience
When you’re able to connect people based on common interests and experiences, they can instantly relate to each other on some level. Learning about someone’s experiences and background can help you tap into their hidden talents, giving you insight into how you can support them beyond the business environment.
M … stands for Motivation
We all are motivated by different things. Learning what people are passionate about and what truly lights their fire, will help you relate to them personally in meaningful way. You may want to follow up with them after the event and can send them an article related to their interests. You may want to thank them for helping you and use this information to thank them appropriately.
So, the next time you’re out shaking some hands, listen more than you talk. Focus on them more than on yourself.
Let us know how you get on…