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As my mom used to say, “Hey, give if you want to get.” My mom was a waitress for 60 years and she knew what makes people tick.
Do you want to get high-paying clients? Then you need to give before you get when it comes to networking.
For advanced tips on networking, I went to the person who I think is the leading expert on the subject, author Susan RoAne. I caught her by phone as she was leaving the shower, and she was generous enough to take time to offer advice.
RoAne, aka The Mingling Maven, is a sought-after speaker and author of How To Work a Room, The Secrets of Savvy Networking and more. She speaks for corporate, military and university audiences. She has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle and newspapers worldwide.
“One way to grow your networks is by joining organizations,” says RoAne. “But joining any organization is merely step one in the process. The other steps can be implemented once you decide to grow your network, your circle of contacts and your professional visibility.”
RoAne also believes in the give if you want to get philosophy. Don’t just attend meetings and expect to reap benefits. There is more to networking than just showing up.
Here is RoAne’s best advanced networking advice: get involved!
“Volunteer for the greeting committee and other projects,” advises RoAne. “Then it’s your job to greet, meet and welcome everyone.”
Once when I was president of a large advertising agency, I heard RoAne speak. Following her advice, I joined the San Diego Hotel Motel Association, and found out I was the only ad agency that joined (“Excellent,” I said to myself in a Mr. Burns voice). I immediately signed up for the membership committee. Within a year I had three hotel accounts because members saw me as a go-getter.
If you are willing to be a go-getter, RoAne has a three-step strategy to make volunteering pay.
Step One. “Get to know the leaders in the organization.”
Step Two. “Extend yourself to other members, and welcome their guests.”
Step Three. “Throw your hat in the ring and run for office and give 120% if elected.”
Following her advice to give 120% has meant that I have served as an officer for many groups, and that required a great deal of volunteer time. But it has always paid off handsomely in attracting high-paying clients.
Another important RoAne tip is to be prepared when you attend functions. Visit websites, Google, Linkedin, Facebook, and Instagram. Read a newspaper: in print, online or “on your watch” for a full banquet of conversation topics.
Also, draft your own self-introduction. It should be seven to nine seconds, not a 30-second elevator speech. RoAne says there are several benefits to this approach:
- “When you know what you’ll say about yourself, the more confident and comfortable you’ll feel.”
- “We teach people how to respond to us. If we introduce ourselves with our first and last names, over 80% of the time, people respond in kind. Then, we know each other’s names.”
- “When you give the benefit of what you do, you give people an opportunity to ask a question and begin the conversation.”
RoAne says the magic is in the follow-up. Do it within three to four days, while they still remember you. Reintroduce yourself adding a comment referencing your conversation.
February 28, 2019 at 04:46PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs