When asked what you do, do you try to stuff your entire life-story and business background into a few brief moments, now that you have someones attention?
Not to worry – many do. It’s as if they feel they have only one chance to be heard. And if they don’t take advantage of it, the opportunity will never be presented again.
The fact is, they are making sure the opportunity will not occur with the poor person who asked the question. What they don’t realize is that this question, what do you do, is someone looking to start a conversation and seek for something in common.
Change up you approach to networking. Rather than actually tell someone what you do, view this opening as the start of a long-term conversation. It is an introduction and, if successful, the beginning of a business or personal relationship. Thus, it is quality that counts – not quantity.
Your goal is to get the other person talking about themselves, so you can learn 1) If you can help them in any way, and 2) If there is mutual benefit moving the relationship forward.
So, the end game is to re-cast how you network. The simple guidelines are…
- Lead with a benefit you provide, briefly.
- Encourage the other person to open up and provide useful information to you about them. After all, it may be who they know and not what they do that matters.
- Ask what you can do to help them and, if you can, DO SO.
- If it looks beneficial, move your connection forward at a later meeting time.
- Bonus idea: Don’t give you card to everyone. You are seeking valuable connections and they are rare, not frequent.
Change your style of networking and change your results.