Leverage Your Time with Intentional Networking Groups You Build

Extroverts, introverts and those who straddle the fence on extroversion and introversion (I am one of them - seriously I took a test that said I was... and it just confirmed what I already knew... don't you just love those test results...) here is a great way to conquer the awkward networking and move towards happy intentional networking... 

Most of us hear and see people who will network - you know them (literally and figuratively) that will not spend but 15 seconds in your presence if they already know you... they have more NEW people to reach... and there is some sort of rule (I personally think it is a bad rule) that if you already know someone at a networking event you should ignore spending time with them in search of new people... I think there are many things wrong with that 'rule'. One, it makes you look, umm, too aggressive, you umm, like you only want to get a client and not build a relationship (while that may be what your ultimate goal is... you don't want to send that message - think of connections, trust, and umm, being authentic...) and so many other things... and remember this is my blog and my opinion... and well if I am honest... I am not the only person who is focusing on intentional networking or networking to real people as a real person... 

And how many times have we had those encounters and felt, umm, yucky as a general category... as the specifics vary greatly... 

Well, I have been trying this out for all of 2017 and find this to be a great thing... and other people have tried it and found it to be a great thing... again, I am not the only one who finds this as something that really does work... 

Here it is... Hang out with those you know... and if you want to grow your network within that group you are building in the networking event... invite others to join you... 

Some basics that work... 

  • When you are talking with someone else you already know... your best self comes out... You are talking, smiling, listening, having a relaxed, good time. That is very appealing to others... they want to be around someone like that...
    • Invite someone who you know or don't know to join you... if you know them, introduce them to the others... if you don't know them... everyone introduce each other... your network just grew.
  • When you are having fun and your group keeps growing, people notice. They want to know why your group keeps growing.
    • You see someone paying a lot of attention to your group - invite them to join you. If you know them, introduce them... if no one knows them... group introductions are in order... 
  • When you see someone you know enter the room and you make eye contact with them and wave them on over... you can greet them and introduce them to those who don't know them... You have just increased your network and the people in your group's network... and you greeted someone you know at the same time... talk about Leveraging Your Time! 
  • Someone in your group knows someone and greets them, have them invite their acquaintance to join the group... 
    • Group introductions all around.
  • You see someone hanging on the outskirts of your group hoping to be invited... Invite them to join you... introduce yourself and others and well... darn it all... you just made a huge group of people feel less awkward, meet new people... and feel pretty darn good about themselves... 

The best thing about this is... you can do it if you are an introvert, extrovert or a straddling between both - ert... 

What if you are an introvert? Well, since most events have a list of who's interested and who is coming... there is a good chance you may know someone at least sort of... email, IM, or how ever you want to do it... but send a message asking them if they would help you out a bit at the networking event... you are an introvert and would love to try this intentional networking idea out... but you need to have one person who will start it with you... most of the time, even if they are hugely extroverted, they will love to help someone feel welcome or comfortable at the event... 

Try it, I guarantee it will work. It has every single time I have tried it. 

Oh, one thing you need to know... not to be a downer... but this is actually an optimistic bit... let's say you try to get someone to join your group and they tell you they need to wander around and find others to network with... don't worry, they are not rejecting you... they just haven't figured out that networking is changing... people want real connections, to leverage their time, and build trust between each other... and you are on the cutting edge... 

Dannie

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