I consider myself a pretty savvy networker, and when I saw Kisha speak a few weeks ago, she blew me out of the water with the tips she was giving. You should easily be able to pull out several things that you can apply to your business today after this podcast.
You say there is no strategy in networking, what does that mean? When Kisha worked for a local chamber, she worked over members. The first thing she learned was because everyone had a magical title, but no one had substance behind it to back it. It never really connected with anyone because it wasn't interesting to anyone. Instead of using a title, Kisha switched to saying she was a 'servant', which opened the doors for a conversation.
One of the titles she was given was a 'strategic connector.' People so many times go into network, but they're really not saying what they need. From a personal stand point she began to see things as a strategic level, and it opened the doors for her.
Instead of going in to any event with an 'I need sales attitude', you should go in as a heart of a servant, to help people, and ask them how can you help them.
How does this shift in networking change your business? The hard part of the world is that we've become so individualized and hungry for the next dollar, is that we forget to serve. However, we were created to connect with people and create the need. Even within Kisha's business she operates with a serving attitude and helping others. It sounds easy, but you're giving up potential dollars immediately, to help others.
[ctt tweet="The hard part of the world is that we've become so individualized and hungry for the next dollar, that we forget to serve. http://ctt.ec/v9xAi+" coverup="v9xAi"]
Kisha never gives a title because the minute you do, people decide if they need you or not. They may shut you down because you may not look like their traditional customer. A lot of it is educating on what they might need you for outside what they think they do or what they traditionally would need.
When someone asks you 'what do you do', flip it on them and see what they need. Then figure out how you can use it as an opportunity to educate them on what you do.
What do you recommend for an intro? If you're lame when you stand up in front of a room, no one is going to want to do business with you. First, check yourself at the door, and make sure you're still excited for your business. If your energy stinks, what you're saying means nothing. If you're not, you shouldn't be there networking because it will turn people off. Go back to the authentic reason of why you started it, and speak to that thing. It's not about a routine formula because formulas may not work for everyone. Keep it short and sweet and to the point. You have to help people see how you fit into their life.
Kisha gives some incredible examples of how she changes up her intro based on the energy of the room and who is there.
Even though you're doing online business, how can you utilize these tips to build your business? We get so caught up on wanting the next or new thing that we forget about what already exists. Kisha teaches her clients how to leverage who you currently know. Instead of mining our connections, we're just about adding more. Kisha tells a great story about a client who was struggling, but he was never utilizing the people who he already knew.
You never know who knows someone who could help you and your business. Are you telling people what you really do, to understand how they can help you? You can continually ask people if they know people who you serve. You have to get creative when you network, and you must have a follow-up system. You have to stay on top of it, and you must have a system that separates you from everyone else.
What's your follow-up system? Even though people are passing out business cards, you have to be strategic about who you're going to call back and follow-up with. Kisha uses a special pocket in her purse. She really makes sure to keep up with the people she wants to. She also uses Facebook and LinkedIn to keep up with people. It helps with a top of mind when you're seeing people who you may need to connect with.
Use the fact that everyone is telling their life stories on social media to your advantage and look for opportunities as they arise. Your follow-up should also reflect your personality. At the end of the day, though, make your own rules. Do things outside the box, and make sure you're getting their attention. It's not about fancy things, just be yourself. Do it consistently, and people will eventually get the message.
[ctt tweet="Use the fact that everyone is telling their life stories on social media to your advantage and look for opportunities as they arise. http://ctt.ec/6j19v+" coverup="6j19v"]
Also don't get frustrated, when it takes time to get people into a system. Even when you don't know it, people are watching you. You just never realize that every time you post, you're connecting with people. Use every opportunity to teach people about who you are, and what you're do.
How do you utilize technology to really utilize events you're attending? Kisha always tries to connect and engage with people online before she goes to an event. Kisha uses several apps to see which events her friends are going to. Get into event groups, and start posting within the group. When you see other people post, go in and comment. Take the extra effort to start connecting and engaging with people. Then you're not going to go into a cold event.
At the end of the day everyone wants the same thing, to feel comfortable and to feel noticed. Go into a room, have fun, and be you. That will sell more than any process that you're over thinking.
Kisha uses Swarm, Eventbrite, Meetup, Circle, and Periscope as ways to connect.
Take advantage of any opportunities you have to network. Also, when you go to a networking event, look for the person who looks like they know the entire room. Go over and get to know that person.
You can find Kisha over at www.kishalallen.com. Also look for her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
Would love to hear from you and how you're going to apply any of these to your business! Or do you have any other networking tips?
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