Today, I want to help you hone your networking skills and turn you into a networking genius so that you can build the most powerful relationships for your coaching business – even if you’re shy, introverted, or hate attending networking events. Watch the YouTube episode below to learn more, or simply read on.
Tips to Improve Your Networking Skills
Whether you’re a new or experienced coach, you probably already know that having those key relationships and connections in the industry can have a powerful impact on your coaching business. But what do you do if you’re shy, introverted, or if you’re dreading networking events and those awkward first conversations? You never know what to say or how to leave a good impression, and that’s why you stay away from those events.
Well, today I want to give you some specific tips that will help you improve your networking skills, connect with the right people, and make the whole process actually really fun and effective so you can build those powerful relationships for your coaching business.
1. Focus on giving versus getting.
Sometimes, what you can give to people may not be related to your business, and that’s okay, too. You want to be known as someone who is resourceful, who can connect other people, and who can contribute in a way that serves the other person, regardless of whether that is in your benefit and has to do with your business or not. Trust me. Building relationships is for the long-term. It’s not a one-time, wham, bam, thank you, ma’am kind of thing. It is something that takes a while, but it’s worth your time and effort – because those deep relationships that you’re building can help you tremendously in the future.
2. Be really present.
Again, this does not require you to say much or even present yourself in a certain way. It requires you to just pay attention to the one person in front of you. That means keep eye contact, look at them. Don’t look around the room while they’re talking at you as if you’re already thinking, “Who am I going to talk to next?” Sure, there are people over there and there are people over here…but people notice when you’re not paying attention. It’s very rude, and it leaves a very bad impression of you. So just pay attention to this one person, this one important soul and new friend in front of you – and when the conversation is over, then you can place your attention somewhere else. But be present, and I promise you’re going to make an incredible first impression with this person.
3. Love and honor your introverted qualities.
Imagine you’re going to a networking event that is two, three, or four…maybe five days long or more…and you need to recharge. Guess what? That’s okay. When I go to longer networking events, I tend to stay in my hotel room at night. I take breaks. I sometimes go away from the crowds, read a book, take a nap, lay down, and just be with myself because that’s how I get my energy. There’s nothing wrong with you skipping the party, club, or networking gala if you need that time to recharge. Taking that time for yourself will help you to come back stronger and refreshed the next day.
4. Listen more than you talk.
Think about it. The most interesting people are the ones who really want to know about us. Be that person. Ask those questions and listen. If you let the other person talk, not only will you find out so much more about them, but you will be seen as someone who really cares for that person. If you are really there to make genuine connections and relationships, you will be remembered for that. Later, when you follow up with who you have met over email or you send them a message, then you can come forth with your information and say, “Hey, we had a great conversation. I learned so much about you.” Maybe you learned about their business, where they’re from, their kids, or whatever you talked about. Then let them know what you thought of them, and say “I wanted to send you more information about what I do and how I can support you even more.” Start by listening instead of talking, and you will win the networking game.
5. Stop working the room.
Instead, chill and relax. So many people come to networking events, and all they do is run around and tell their elevator pitch and sell to as many people as possible. That makes them come across fake, salesy, and pushy – and like someone that people want to stay away from. If I see someone at a networking event and I know all they want to do is sell me their programs, products, and services, I’m going to stay away from them. I may not even look at them, because I know the conversation will be fake and inauthentic. What’s worth more? Ten high-level relationships or one deep, genuine partnership?
6. Mirror your partner’s energy.
Step number six is a secret of communication, and something really anybody can do. What I mean by “mirroring their energy” is acting in the same high-vibe or low-vibe manner as they are. Are they really happy, high energy, and energetic, and they’re speaking loud and smiling or laughing? Or are they someone who is a little bit more introverted – maybe they’ll lean back, they’re shy or a little bit more cautious, and they speak a little bit more quietly? Mirror your new friend’s energy, their body language, their gesturing, and their voice as much as you can. This makes them feel comfortable, and it also makes you feel comfortable because you’re connecting on the same level.
7. Don’t be afraid to approach others.
One of the things that always scared me is the idea of standing at a networking event by myself, having nobody to talk to, and feeling really stupid. I’m sure you’ve experienced this yourself before but know that it’s okay to approach someone or even a group of people if they’re already talking. You may want to go up to a group – just stand there and listen to the conversation, see how you can contribute, and over time, you may actually become part of the conversation and the circle of people who are talking. Don’t be shy. Of course, don’t go in there and try to take over the entire conversation, but see how you can add important information or value, and slowly introduce yourself. It is expected that you’re coming to a networking event to network, so people will understand. They may even expect you to come up to them and try to have a conversation.
8. Be intentional if you want to meet specific people.
Imagine you’re going to an event and you want to meet one of the speakers. What you might consider doing is to be very intentional in making that connection with them. Maybe sit in the first row when they’re talking, try to make eye contact, and really look at them. Get them to notice you, even while they’re talking on stage. Once they come down, try to be there to meet them. Consider having some information prepared, asking them questions, and ensure you’re in the right place at the right time to optimize your chances of making that connection with the speaker that you’ve always wanted to meet.
9. Be really honest.
If you’re anything like me, you’re a big giver and a big “yes” sayer. I go to events and people say, “Hey, can you refer me to someone? Can you help me with this? Can you send me a template? Can you do this for me?” I want to say, “Yes, yes, yes, of course,” because I want to give and serve and help, but that’s not always in my own best interest. So know that it’s okay to say, “You know what? I would love to say yes, but I want to be honest with you. My schedule is really full, and I may not be able to commit to this right now.” It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to know the limits of what you can and cannot do and maintain your boundaries, even at networking events.
10. Take action almost right away.
Don’t wait to follow up with your new connections in a week or two weeks from now, or it may never happen. Instead, follow up right away. Go back to your hotel room or your office, get those business cards and your notes out, and write your follow-up emails almost immediately. Your new friend still remembers you and what you look like, they know the conversation they had with you, and you’re going to be able to further that relationship almost immediately and have a much bigger impact.
11. Value every connection you make.
You might come across an assistant or a VA and you might be thinking, “Hey, this person is not important. They’re not an expert. They’re not a speaker.” But you might be wrong because usually, the VAs and the assistants are the people who can open doors for you. They can book the appointments and help you out, and they’re the people who are the gatekeepers to the experts and speakers that you really want to connect with. So value every connection you make and build those genuine relationships no matter who it is because you never know what will come out of it.
Now that I’ve turned you into a networking genius, it’s time for you to test those skills out and buy your ticket to From Passion to Profits Live. This is our big annual event just for coaches, and our mission at this event is to help you scale your coaching business to the million-dollar level. You will make connections that can change your business forever. We expect hundreds of coaches in all different niches from all over the world. You’ll be meeting vendors, potential clients, and business partners – and you’ll see me and my team on stage! You’ll be hearing from seven industry-leading experts to help you bring your passions to the world. Check out FromPassionToProfitsLive.com to learn more, and buy your ticket at Early Bird pricing right now. I’ll see you in Hollywood!
A few weeks ago, I was in the beautiful Bahamas on a retreat with our Powerhouse Coaches, and I started Read more
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