Enjoying great company and good times with the Savvy Entrepreneur Natalie Moutia – Founder of Success Women’s Network. It was great sharing ideas peer to peer – keeps me sane and I love her great tips!
Over the past few months, yet again I am a very lucky man. I have had the unique honour of being one of the first Male Guest Speakers to the amazing ladies of Success Women’s Network. They are an Entrepreneurs Group which helps support women in business through morale, training, ideas, referral and business networking opportunities. What I found amazing about them was how similar the experience was to 4Networking.
As I arrived for my first presentation on Small Business Sales & Marketing at Success Women’s Network I was very fortunate to connect with their Leader Natalie Moutia. We have become friends since our first meeting and have both reflected on how quickly we have “Clicked” and share very similar values when it comes to business, life and in particular business networking.
We also have joked about how similar we are on many levels. Both have survived quite extreme situations in life, both have worked in marketing, both have been retrenched, both have been ripped off by mean people, both are ethnic, both have had very hard lives, both are Christians and both have focused very hard on helping other people.
Probably no surprise we got along so quickly and I have been lucky to get a guest blog from her on how Business Networking Works. I think her knowledge is brilliant so I haven’t even changed one word – just formatted it to suit my fine blog.
I trust you enjoy the fine read!
Are you a Connector? Guest Blog by Natalie Moutia, Founder of Success Women’s Network:
Effective networking skills are a powerful tool for all entrepreneurs.
Connecting and networking is a lifelong skill that can be learnt. Connecting the room with integrity is an art and can be easy to master. Here are my top 8 tips on how to make friends and create new business contacts:
1. Have a purpose: Remind yourself why you are at an event and have a purpose. Set objectives, for example speak to 3 new business owners and or learn 2 new pieces of information. Go prepared and have your key messages clear and concise. Remember don’t sell and connect instead.
2. Sit next to someone you don’t know: Have you attended an event with people you already know and sat with them the whole event? Sit next to someone you don’t know and increase your chance of meeting new people. Simple right? Well NO our human behaviour compels us to sit in our comfort zone and connect with people we know. Make a conscience effort to sit next to someone new every time and boom you have just increased your network.
3. Act like the host: If you know the event organiser ask for an introduction to key people you would like to meet. There is nothing like a warm introduction. Approach someone standing alone. Chances are they are waiting to meeting you and would be happy for others to join them. Make sure once you have connected, excuse yourself politely and work that room like the host of an event would.
4. Body language: Having a warm smile, leaving your arms unfolded and maintaining eye contact will make anyone feel welcome. When you make the commitment to connect all the way you’ll not only make a friend but meaningful business contacts. Be your real self. Be subtle. Listen and pay attention to the details. Remember it’s not about you, it’s about them.
5. Break the ice: Ever had an awkward silent moment at a networking event? Avoid that by asking some friendly general questions, it can be as simple as commenting on the venue, the program, speaker or the food; asking people where they have travelled from or whether they have been to the event or place before; or expressing an interest in why they are attending. Making that personal connection is key.
6. Give before you gain: Offer to give someone something for nothing and don’t expect anything in return. Most people appreciate a generous offer of help and want to reciprocate. In time, your good karma will reward you.
7. Go easy on the business cards: Make each business card count, rather than handing them out like you are desperate. It’s not about quantity it’s about quality contacts. Be ready to hand out a business card if someone requests it or you think that you have a made a good solid connection. Always ask for one in exchange. Don’t make the mistake of keeping your cards in a pile on your desk. Make a time to connect with your new contacts on LinkedIN and Facebook. Make a time to get to know them and their business over a long lunch.
After the Event:
The real connecting begins after the event, it’s all about setting the foundations for establishing a meaningful and mutually beneficial relationship. This takes time to nurture and cultivate. Remember it takes time to build trust and friendship, then the business will come. Happy connecting!
Natalie Moutia – Founder of Success Women’s Network! www.successwomensetwork.com.au
Edward Zia’s Post Notes:
In my own Business Networking experience I have been preaching a similar message for years and it’s great hearing similar concepts from such an esteemed peer of mine. Talking more to my Sales & Marketing Mentoring – I have known many people over the years who either get Business Networking or you don’t.
The ones that do really “Get It” and make lots of money from it are almost always the biggest contributors to the group. Be it they are volunteering to help out, giving their help generously, giving referrals and being basically a positive pillar of a given group. These people (including myself) have a great experience of business networking.
My advice? Really consider what Natalie is saying, consider visiting a Success Women’s Network event and even drop her a line to discuss it more.
Thank you for the read Awesome Friends!
Edward Zia – Marketing Mentor and Developer of the Awesome Marketing Vault!