One of the most important skills for an entrepreneur is learning how to network. Making connections with other like-minded people and learning from others who have walked in your shoes can prove to be invaluable.
If you want to be effective at networking, though, you can’t just shake hands and collect business cards. You need to make a meaningful connection with people – even if you just met them.
Scott Crockett, CEO of Everest Business Funding, says it’s important to relate to the people you meet, empathise with them, and communicate in a familiar way if you want to make meaningful and lasting connections. Here are some ways you can do so with people you just met.
Show you care
The path to meaningful connections is a two-way street. All too often, entrepreneurs focus on themselves when they meet new people. They take the time to carefully explain who they are and what they do, trying to get others to take an interest in them.
If you want to make a meaningful connection, though, you need to show the people you meet that you care. Pay attention to what they say when they talk to you, and focus on what makes them tick.
Give the people you meet your undivided attention. Try to get to know them on a human level, regardless of how long your interaction with them is.
It’s one of the first words you hear when you meet a new person, yet it’s something so many people forget. It’s someone’s name, and it’s very important to them.
An excellent way to make an impression on someone you just meet is to remember their name. It shows you care about who they are and feel they are your equal. Conversely, if you forget someone’s name, it may indicate that they’re not important to you or that you had no intention to see them again.
Even though you may meet dozens of people in a short amount of time, it’s important to remember people’s names and connect their names with their faces.
Tell a story
People love a good story, and everybody has a good story. A great way to make lasting connections with people you just met is to tell your story, and ask others to tell you theirs.
Your story is why you are who you are, and why you are where you are in your life. The same goes for the people you meet.
By telling your story and asking others for theirs, you can make a connection based on similar experiences.
A great way to connect with people you just met is to be curious about who they are and what they do. Asking people questions shows them that you’re interested and makes them interested in you.
It’s also important that you’re open to learning new things. You have great life experiences that made you who you are today, but you haven’t experienced it all.
By being curious and open to learning, you can pick up some advice others have learned through their own experiences.
About Scott Crockett
Scott Crockett is the founder and CEO of Everest Business Funding. He is a seasoned professional with 20 years of experience in the finance industry. Scott’s track record includes raising more than $250 million in capital and creating thousands of jobs. Scott has founded, built, and managed several finance companies in the consumer and commercial finance sectors.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.