Connecting to people and building networks of contacts and connections are critical for any business’s success. One of the key benefits we offer at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce is the ability to connect with a wide array of people and businesses. At our core nature, we want to do business with people we know or have met.
Some people find connecting and networking easy and almost second nature. Others may find networking and connecting uncomfortable and hard to do daily. There are some basic things a person can do to communicate with other people. Here are seven things to do:
- Show interest in others. People know pretty quickly if you are “not really interested” in them and you are just trying to make a sale. The quick connection and sale mentality are a big turn-off. People who can carry on a conversation with everyone and show genuine interest are going to be successful.
- Connect with everyone. Show interest with everyone, including the servers and other staff, not just the people you think will help you. Connecting with people from all levels demonstrates a keen awareness of people.
- Be the same. Act and say the same things in person and online. Consistency is a critical element of success, so be consistent in-person and when you use social media. People will notice if you act one way in-person and another on a social media platform. The inconsistencies hurt your brand and image.
- Be positive. Nobody likes to be around a “Debbi Downer.” Be positive and upbeat with people. Keep the conversation positive and complimentary. People will be willing to connect with you when you are positive and give off a “good vibe.”
- Don’t drag out the conversation. There is a natural ending for almost everything, and it is the same way with a conversation. When the talking is done, wrap it up, and if you need to follow up, do it with an email or a phone call.
- Put other people first. Don’t talk too much about yourself. Make the conversation about the other person. Think about what the other person is needing to accomplish or how you can help them be successful.
- Find the balance. Finding your balance takes self-awareness and the ability to self-regulate. You don’t want to be too loud, too funny, or too quiet. Find that sweet spot where you have a good conversation, and you leave a good feeling about your abilities to talk and engage.
These are seven simple steps, but the people who network well have a lifetime of experience at working with people. The good connectors and networkers make it all seem so natural and straightforward, but they have been doing it for a long time. It just takes practice, and we have the perfect venue for you to practice – the McAllen Chamber of Commerce.
Join us every second Tuesday of the month at the Chamber’s Power Network. The event is free, and it is a great way to develop your skills in networking and connecting. And you might be surprised at how much business you can generate — because we all want to do business with people we know.