Stepping out of that comfort zone

So, I had a scary experience recently…

… I attended an event where I didn’t know anyone and yes, I do mean that literally!

I walked in quite confident that there would be someone there I knew (as I do a LOT of networking and have done for the past 13 years) but I didn’t know a single person in the room.

But do you know what; after I had recovered from the shock, I really enjoyed myself and I had a very productive morning.

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 word perfect.

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

But sometimes it is good to push yourself out of your comfort zone and mix it up a bit:

Visit A New Group

Search out groups / events you haven’t attended before or perhaps haven’t been along to for a while and schedule these into your diary alongside your regular meetings.

Switch Up Your One Minute Introduction

When did you last update your one-minute intro? Yes, 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.

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. 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.

Sit Somewhere Different

When I put the chairs out at Coffee and Connect I know exactly who is going to sit in many of those seats! I would encourage you to try sitting somewhere different. You will talk to different people and gain a completely new perspective on the one-minute introductions.

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.