It’s too hard, it’s too boring, it’s too forward. Or, they’re too shy, they’re too stuck in a comfort zone, or just not very outgoing.
Here’s the good news
There is a secret for good networking. And it has nothing to do with how you shake hands or maintain eye contact. It’s not about psyching yourself up, or ensuring you meet X number of people. It’s not about figuring out your story in advance, or scripting your elevator pitch, although those can be good ideas.
Here’s the bad news
Unfortunately, it’s not something everyone can do, either. Only some of us can do it … not because we’re better than anyone else, or smarter, or more outgoing, or more attractive. But it is something that we possess. And maybe you do too. And if you don’t? There are ways to get it.
Here’s the secret
The secret is passion.
Is there something that you’re doing that you are absolutely passionate about? Excited about? Engaged with? Vitally interested in?
Then you can network well. It’s as simple as that.
It IS about others … but also YOU
To be sure, you can’t network by spouting off at every opportunity. If you only use your mouth, forget it. You’re boring, and rude to boot.
But it is ALSO about you.
If you just listen when networking, you’re going to hear a lot, and you’ll make some connections. But those connections won’t be strong ones, and won’t be beneficial, because the people you’re connecting with have no clue who you are, what you’re doing, and why you get out of bed in the morning.
In other words, you don’t fit into a box in their head. And that means you don’t fit in their heads at all. Not good.
Passion is infectious
When a passionate person who listens and asks questions and gets interested in others starts to speak, people pay attention. And they remember.
Now you’ve got a connection. And now you’re networking.