Are you a networker or a faker? Do you classify people at networking events? You may place people in categories by industry and knowledge, but I’ll wager there’s another category you may not consciously consider—are they real or phony? This division supersedes all others. Think about it, you don’t want to waste time with a faker-taker, and you do want to meet honest folks. We don’t trust phonies, and we listen to real people. Here’s the important question. Where do people place yourself, genuine networker or a faker?
Are You a Genuine Networker or a Faker?
Faking it doesn’t get it
If you attempt to fake and phony your way at networking events, you’ll be placed with other untrustworthy and nuisance networkers. If you want to be considered a genuine human being, with something to offer—do the following.
Don’t change your story to fit the person you’re networking with
Genuine people have beliefs and stick to them. Don’t tell one person you believe in content marketing and the next say you’re uncertain as to the value of content marketing. Of course, this means you must take the time to know what you believe. Caution, networking, in most cases, isn’t the place for controversy. Keep your political and religious beliefs to yourself. I was once on a sales call where one partner began a rant against the President of the USA, after several minutes I said, “I agree.” The other partner looked at me and said, “You can both go to hell!” and left the room. It was a hard lesson to learn.
Give your full attention to people
Learn to listen to others. If you want to be classified as a phony, monopolize conversations. Tell everyone everything you know. I’m certain they’re all dying to hear. By listening, you show care and understanding. That’s what genuine folks do.
Follow through with actions and commitments
When you make promises keep them. Stand by your word. And more than that, be known for what you stand for through consistent behavior and practicing what you preach.
Who Do You Trust?
Networking events are an opportunity to meet people that may help you. A networking event can help you find a job, client, or provider. What most of us look for in networkers is someone we can trust, who has positive character traits, confidence, and is open. Fakers don’t inspire trust or confidence. Be yourself, be real, listen to others, stick to your beliefs, and follow up and you’ll be considered one of the good people.
Are You a Good Networker?
I’d always considered myself an effective networker. I’m friendly, easy to talk to, and I’ve never met a stranger. However, none of that makes me a good networker – it makes me outgoing. If I wanted to be the most effective networker I could be I needed a plan. That’s how my networking workbook, Help Networking started.
My plan probably won’t be your plan. That’s why throughout the book there are worksheets, checklists, and simple CTA’s. Use these to create a networking plan that fits your needs.
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