Networking With Groups You Don’t Know
POSTED September 21, 2020 | Articles | Kim Marie's Blog
My next 4 Blog posts are going to be about improving your networking skills in different situations. I have chosen some outside Blogs to use along with what I want to say because sometimes a different voice can get through more clearly.
The four topic areas I am going to discuss are:
1. Networking in a group you don’t know. While all of you have joined a LeTip chapter to build relationships, you still need to do other networking activities to build your business, your skillset and your chapter. This type of networking is often the most “awkward” and Hannah Fleishman writes a nice Blog about this, including 6 great points summarized in the Blog and on video. Whichever way you learn, I think this is worth 8 minutes of your time.
2. Using networking to win back lost customers. This may not seem straightforward, but in his Blog, Petra Odak points out some great ideas related to networking that are very timely given that many businesses are losing customers during this pandemic who they will need to win back.
3. Treat Networking like part of your job. You all know that your LeTip meeting is a Business Meeting. You are the Sales Force of all of the members in your Chapter. While the 1.5 hours weekly is important time for building those relationships, you need to calendar your networking time the rest of the week/month also. Let’s talk about some strategies for building your networking plan throughout the week. My list is very LeTip specific, but Katie Burke presents some great ides in her blog also.
4. Finally, I’ll wrap it up with some training on using LeTip Wired and the LeTip meeting to improve your overall networking.
Networking With Groups You Don’t Know.
The first thing you need to know about being a better networker, is that it takes practice. Every day I am out of my house (which isn’t as often lately), I am always working to hone my networking skills. I talk to everyone. If I’m in line at the store, I talk with the lady behind me.
When you ask questions about someone else, its easy to get them to answer.
Focus on the basics:
1. Start with a warm welcome “Hi, I’m Kim Marie”. Pause there, let them introduce themselves.
2. Ask a generic question related to where you are at; the store, the ballgame, the Chamber of Commerce. This gets the ball rolling and doesn’t take much thought on either of your parts.
3. Now its time to move into the examination part. Find out something about them. If you are in a business situation, its easy to ask what they do. If you are in a more personal setting, like a grocery store or your dry cleaner, it might take a couple questions to lead into finding out what they do for business.
4. Once you can get them talking about their business, you can figure out do you want to lead the discussion to them being a customer, do you want to be their customer, or do you want to bring them into your LeTip chapter, because they could be a great source of tips for your fellow members.
If you are going to guide them through a discussion about LeTip, know some of the key things you want to say. Doug Christian has probably taught you the four questions he always asks, but I’ll repeat them here, because they work.
A. Would you like to make more money this year?
B. Could you use more business this year?
C. Hey, are you in town next week?
D. Would you like to join me with a group of business people for breakfast/lunch?
If you don’t ask, the answer is always NO… the key is to ASK…
The keys for networking toward your chapter growth are first volume. It normally takes four people coming to a LeTip chapter to get agreement in the chapter to have 1 of them join. The second key is using the right language to close the guest. This can be learned by getting to know more about B.A.N.K. Code yourself first, and then have discussion with your members about their codes, but also watch these videos where I discuss how it works.
Click here to see the Blog post by Hannah Fleishman about her ideas of how to handle these awkward situations.
Kim Marie Branch-Pettid
Over 40 Years of helping build businesses just like yours, everyday of the week.