Photo by Bench via Creative Commons

Have you ever tried to buy something you need (car, phone, house, etc.) and feel like a sales person was just being phony? Meeting new people can feel similar. There’s a saying that the next five years will be most impacted by the books you read and people you meet. I’m an introvert by nature, so it takes extra energy to go out and spend time networking at large social events. You can pass out so many business cards without ever feeling that a real connection with someone occurred. You might even stand in the same spot the entire time with person after person trying to give you their two minute pitch without taking a breathe to ask your name. It can make you feel like you would have rather stayed in an office or gone home instead. A research study has also indicated that lawyers who think networking feels “dirty” had lower job performance.


What if you could have a different strategy? Try these strategies at your next business gathering:


1. Focus on quality over quantity. The temptation to talk to the masses and count the number of business cards that you don’t have left can overshadow an event. However, what do you do with all the business cards you receive? If you are like me, you have an office drawer or a box where they go to reference if needed. 90% of the time it isn’t needed…ever. It’s different if you are focusing on a fewer number of people. Quality contacts will last longer than a lot of contacts.

2. Find common ground. Starting a conversation can be challenging in trying to build a bridge. You may not need a bridge if you can find ground that you are both already standing on. Do you have a similar hobby or pastime? Your businesses are not usually the common ground of connection. People love to talk about things that excite them. Let them talk and find the points of connection in the conversation.

3. Don’t force connections. You may really, really want to meet someone and work with them. Yet, every time you greet them when you see them at the office, neighborhood bakery, or association gathering, it feels forced. Timing may be part of the lack of connection. Let it be. There usually isn’t just one person that is going to be the ticket to your success. It take a tribe of people to build a business, a life, and a movement.

4. Attend events that you enjoy. The mandatory luncheons seem like they should help increase our contacts, but if you don’t want to be there, everyone will notice. Go to events that matter to you. Talk to people who are interesting. That person standing in the back of the room may be the best contact you have had in the last year.

5. Work to build genuine relationships with people not acquaintances. People want to know you. They have been sold a good story before. Their Facebook pages have hundreds of “friends” with whom they rarely connect. Most people are not lacking acquaintances; they are lacking genuine relationships. If you are willing to be your authentic self, you will attract people who connect with your story, life, and work.


Add value to every person you meet. Focusing on what you add to others will help people be receptive to you. Personally, I think connecting is a better term than networking. It’s possible that one person could drastically impact your life this year. How could your life change if you strategically connected with one person each week this year?


Did you try one of these strategies this week? Have another strategy that you use in connecting with people? Leave a comment below!

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About Hona Amer

I help people live life to the fullest. Check out my book, Smart Work U. Follow me on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram. In order to receive updates, subscribe below.

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