Not A Natural Networker?
It's as easy as driving a car ...
POSTED BY JACKY SHERMAN ON 31/01/2018 @ 8:00AM
Take heart, I wasn't either. As someone who is very shy and definitely introverted, I still find rooms full of strangers a daunting experience and am always reluctant to go to such events on my own ...
I'm not a natural networker, but with the right tutor, it's as easy as driving a car!
copyright: warrengoldswain / 123rf stock photo
Yet all my business comes from introductions from others. What I have done is find a way to surround myself with a close network of people I know well and who can introduce me to the people who need my services.
My blog posts for the next few weeks will give you some insights and tips on how to find your way to get introduced to your ideal clients in a way that is comfortable for you. This week I'll start with some thoughts about starting out.
None of us was born knowing how to build a business network in the same way that none of us was born knowing how to drive a car. We had to learn the rules and we had to develop the skills.
When learning to drive, some found it easy and became Lewis Hamilton and others potter around the lanes avoiding the motorways at all costs. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle of those extremes. Some of us really do enjoy driving and others only do it because they need to get from A to B.
When learning to drive, you know you can do it when you pass your test. The equivalent in networking is when you get your first referrals. However, early years drivers are most like to have an accident due to inexperience and few of us could handle a Formula One car even now.
"The same goes for networking, the more you hone your skills to match what you want to achieve the more successful you will be!"
Now theoretically, you could learn to drive on your own. Get a car, a manual and a copy of the Highway Code and off you go. Few of us actually did this and Youtube is full of clips of people who apparently tried and failed (although reading the Highway code doesn't seem to have featured in their preparation at all!)
Most of us got a tutor to help us even if we learned off the public highways. In the UK, you must have a trained driver with you on the public highway until you've passed your test to stop you killing yourself or others.
Making mistakes when learning how to get business through your network is unlikely to kill you or others, but it will slow you down, waste your time and money and can even make your business fail. If you've been on the network scene any length of time, you'll have seen it yourself over and over.
"Car crash after car crash and people appear on the scene only to disappear when the money runs out!"
Having someone sit beside you as you learn to drive is more than just learning how to use the controls of the car. The majority of your lessons are about driving around in different situations, learning to anticipate and react to what others do in real time.
This is where a coach can really help you as you learn how to market your business through your network. It's all about learning how to build relationships with others and how to influence them to introduce you to your potential clients.
Every person and situation you meet along the way is slightly different and your coach/trainer can assist you in navigating through this in the best way.
So my first tip for you, if you're not a natural networker, is to get someone to sit beside you, teaching you best practice. As with learning to drive, choose someone who has the relevant experience and equally the skill to transfer that knowledge and expertise to you. It may not save the lives of you or others you meet along the way, but it will save you heartbreak and may even save your business.
Over the next few weeks, whether you're an F1 champion in waiting or just want to find the easiest way from A to B, I'll help you find your personal style of winning business through introductions to your ideal clients.
"Would you like to know more?"
Ready for someone to sit beside you as you learn? Call me on 07970 638857 or click here to ping me an email and together we can explore your options.
Until next time ...
More about Jacky Sherman ...
I help people build and maintain productive working relationships both with their work colleagues and with a wider network to win more business. I do this by combining my skills in coaching, mediation and training with my extensive experience in senior management.
What I love most about my work is when my clients get those a-ha moments because I know they have seen for themselves the way that they want to move forward. Then they will achieve their ambitions.
Helping people who are having challenges with their working relationships gives me enormous pleasure. It was my privilege when working in health care to see how people working together can make the impossible seem easy and accomplish miracles as a result.
So helping people build or restore strong relationship with their colleagues makes even the hardest work easier, alleviates distress for the individual and reduces problems for the whole organisation.
In all this work trust is an essential ingredient to winning business so most of my work comes through referrals. Referrals come through strong business relationships so it was a natural extension for me to work with Ascentiv and train others in how to get consistent and predictable referrals from their network.
What a fantastic way to earn a living!
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