The Secret to Business Networking

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Scenario: "Dude, we gotta tell them about our soon-to-be-fabulous business! They'll love us. We'll make hundreds of contacts that way. Then we'll make billions. Yay!"

"You LOVE me, my ideas, and my business, and you can't get enough. Yay!"

Have you ever attended a networking event where everybody and their mama's pitching the "world's next billion-dollar invention" to everybody else? It's a common theme among most networking functions: "Let's talk about me, me, me, me; that will totally excite others -- and, certainly get the word out!" Buh-laaah. Look well-intentioned, but-coming-off arrogant, conceited, self-centered freaks:
  1. No one cares about you.

    One simple reason we at Trizzy don't blog much about what we do on a daily basis: You don't care.
    • Christina just got the highest grade in class. Unless, it impacts your grade/career in any way, you don't care.
    • Jeff just bought a brand new spankin' car. Unless he can drive you to places, you don't care.
    • Alex just snatched the hottest gal in town. Unless that gal has hot friends, you don't care.

    Try answering this sucker: Name your five favorite blogs. Of those, how many include those who talk incessantly about themselves, their girlfriends/boyfriends, what they had for lunch, their philosophies on re-arranging their rooms, and blah, blah?
  2. No one cares about your business.

    Somewhat similar to the first point: Your business idea can rock the mutha flucka out of this world, but:
    1. Most people don't care.
    2. The people that do care are trying to steal your idea.

  3. Johnny only cares about one person: Johnny.

    A plague could wipe out an entire town on the other side of the world, but Johnny would care dramatically more about his personal life:
    • "Dude! Ashley just broke up with me!"
    • "My car got a flat!"
    • "I just got got a fat bucket of Rocky Road ice cream! Yay!"

    It's a f'd-up phenomenon of human nature, but it's a something to understand: Most people significantly care more about their own lives than anything else. That phenomenon should serve as a basis to learn what influences people.

How to Really Network with Business People

If you're looking to network with somebody, use The Trizoko 3:
  1. Forget about yourself.

    Use what we always do: Talk as little about yourself as possible. Strangers that ask you questions about what you do are just trying to be polite. Really, though: They don't care. The more you talk about yourself, the more they're looking for exit doors. As a result: the more network connections you lose.
  2. Genuinely care about helping Johnny.

    When you positively care about helping Johnny, you start learning as much about Johnny's business to see how you can help him. You start asking questions. You start learning about his competitors, customers, employees -- the whole enchilada. As a kick-ass networker, you're driven to help Johnny rock the mother @%^^$! world.
  3. Provide value.

    Now that you understand Johnny's business needs, you can start helping him kick ass. That could be a full-blown no-charge-no-strings consulting report on how Johnny can improve his business -- to -- something as simple as emailing relevant article links to help Johnny's business. The key of course: Provide value, freely.

"So, what do I get if I focus on others?"

We'll be mushy here: Of course, you shouldn't be concerned with what you'll get -- 'cause really, if you genuinely care about other people, people will take care of you. We promise. Anyway, here's what you'll get: You'll experience the reciprocity effect: "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine." We borrowed that term from Super Psychologist Robert Cialdini. The great thing about human nature: We always return favors.
  • "You help me, and I'll help you."
  • "You help me improve my profits, and I'll help you improve yours."
  • "You help me get more customers, and I'll find you more customers."
  • "You genuinely care about my success, and I'll genuinely care about yours."
(Good guys/gals really do end up finishing first.) The secret to kick-ass networking:

Help people.

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Posted on October 04

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