Mixing It Up!

After you have been networking for a while it is very easy to slip into a routine. You visit the same groups, you know lots of people who you always talk to and you have your one minute introduction about your business off pat.

All of this is great because networking (like all things marketing) is all about being regular and repetitive so people get to know you, remember you and develop trust in your capabilities.

But building these relationship with existing contacts is only one half of successful networking… the other half is developing new contacts.

So you need to push yourself out of your comfort zone and mix it up a bit:

Visit A New Group

When planning my networking schedule I am always looking out for groups / events that I haven’t attended before or perhaps haven’t been along to for a while and schedule these into my diary alongside my regulars. Of course, once you have been networking for a while you will probably find even at a new event there will be people there you already know.

Talk to Different People

Tempting as it is to catch up with your networking “friends” make a point, at every meeting you attend, of talking to other people and there are two distinct categories here:

• Firstly, people you have never met before; perhaps you can go and speak to a new visitor at one of your regular groups and make them feel welcome.

• Secondly, there will be people who you know superficially i.e. you have been introduced so you know their name and the headline of what they do but you have never had a proper conversation with them; go and seek them out and get to know them better.

Vary Your One Minute Introduction

As you may remember from previous emails I always recommend keeping your opening and closing pretty much the same but that gives you plenty of scope to say something different each time in the middle.

Every time you present your business in a one minute introduction detail specific and crucially, different, examples of the service / product you provide – this will mean people will want to listen to what you say and are much more likely to remember it.

Sit Somewhere Different

Particularly pertinent to breakfast meetings where I am willing to guess that most of you reading this will always sit on the same table or dare I say it – even the same seat! You need to sit somewhere different where you will talk to different people.

Of course, doing all this may make you feel that you are back at the beginning again, just like when you started networking but it is very easy to fall into a too comfortable routine whereas mixing things up can open up many more new contacts and opportunities for you.

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