This article has automatically been translated by a bot. Here is the original French version.

When people think about networking, they imagine themselves participating in big events by being the best version of themselves. They think handshakes and exchanges of business cards with the coming of beautiful opportunities that will, very quickly, fall into their palms. But networking is not that and that’s why I find it hard to participate in “networking” events. Together we will see 7 tips for effective networking no matter where you meet.

Your network is your net worth

The best networking meetings I did were the result of an uninterested curiosity and in a place where networking is not usually done.

For example: I’m quite athletic and I spend a lot of time at the gym next door. Since I go there almost every day at the same time, I almost always see the same heads. Instead of staying in my bubble with my headphones, I try to make the effort to reach out to others. At the same time, we cross paths every day passing from one machine to another. You might as well say hello by our first names, don’t you? 

I cannot tell you how many opportunities have been created by these people who have become for some of my friends.

The truth is that we don’t like networking.

No one likes the idea of shaking hands on the fly with people who are there out of interest. “Brush me in the direction of the hair and I’ll do the same.” It’s very artificial.

Friends do business with friends.

That’s why I’m trying to remember everyone. I want to know where you grew up, what your hobbies are, if you have siblings, what’s your favorite dish. I want to know what your dreams are, what your ambitions are, what you want to offer the world and above all how I can help y
ou. If my help brings you any result, great! O
therwise, it’s not important, we stay in touch.

1. Have friends, not contacts.

Want to know my best tips for networking? Here’s the first one.

Let’s say you need a front door in a big box and you know someone who works there. If you know th
is person from a networking event and the only thing you know about them is written on their business card, what are the chances that that person will be able to provide the help you need? On the face of it, they’re very weak. You never know, but I won’t bet on it.

Fiends do business together

But if this person is a friend, a person with whom you interact regularly, with whom you can spend an hour over coffee and talk about your shared passion for science fiction films, etc. This person will be much more inclined to help you. That
doesn’t mean you have to be one of those people who pretend to be friends out of interest in climbing the social ladder and being part of the elite.” Honestly, you won’t be delusional for long.

But if this person is a friend, a person with whom you interact regularly, with whom you can spend an hour over coffee and talk about your shared passion for science fiction films, etc. This person will be much more inclined to help you. That
doesn’t mean you have to be one of those people who pretend to be friends out of interest in climbing the social ladder and being part of the elite.” Honestly, you won’t be delusional for long.

What I propose is to make appeals to your relational intelligence by opening yourself to others to create real relationships. Share your goals, ambitions, hopes, dreams and challenges and let them do the same. This brings us to the trick 2 …

2. Be attentive – because few people really do it

Want to know what’s the best trick in the world for networking?
Being attentive and it means listening a l
ot. Before entering the world of entrepreneurship, I spent a lot of time in the hospitality world, where the only thing you do as few people do, listen.

When you take the time to listen to understand, not to respond, the result is incredible. I was the kind of one you see in hotels and restaurants with a big smile that asks if everything is going well. I watched from afar every detail, every movement to anticipate the needs of my clients. Be attentive, look at a person’s approach, pay attention to the intonation of his voice and the words spoken to demonstrate a sincere interest and understand the needs of my interlocutor. Why?

Because in life, sincerity and generosity are paramount values in the construction of relationships.

When I found myself in this environment filled with energy and ambition that is entrepreneurship, I was amazed at how people open up and share when shown a sincere and unthinking interest with active listening.

People are tired of meeting people with a sense of semi-interest like “I hope you’ll soon finish talking so I can talk again”. As soon as someone can listen carefully to each of the words spoken in a generously self-serving way, people speak, speak and keep opening up. That’s how we get back to the point #1, and create friendly relationsh
ips. They trust you and they feel they can open up and confide in you.

Interesting people tend not to be too open to first comers because most of their interlocutors are not really interested in them. But if you listen, sincerely without a hindthought, showing your interest and even your gratitude for this moment, then they will open up. They’ll share everything with you. For you, it’s not only an opportunity to learn and discover, but it’s one of the best ways to build relationships and build an incredible network. You will be respe
cted by these people because you have taken the time to respect them by listening to them.

3. Tell your story

A friend of mine, CEO of a beautiful startup, meets a lot of people through his work by participating in many networking events. He has an incredible ability to build relationships with strangers and therefore sell his products just by talking for a few minutes.

I had the opportunity to see him at work and it’s impressive. He starts by asking his interlocutor to introduce himself and then he also introduces himself succinctly. He keeps going and three minutes later, it feels like they’ve been friends for years, laughing over a drink.
How does he do
it? He told his story, from how he went from being a rebellious teenager to setting up a prolific application software design company to creating a Japanese restaurant at the age of 19.

What’s so special about this story? She demonstrated several things:

  • His ability to be vulnerable and honest (people do business with people of integrity)
  • His will and dedication to work (people do business with people who keep their commitments)
  • He conveyed his values in his words to remain unforgettable (people do business with people stand out from others)   

Tell your story.
I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met with incredible success stories from scratch. Then I went to their website which transmits nothing more special than another, lambda sites. 
So tell your story, not the one everyone wants to hear. That
‘s how you’re going to stand out.

4. Ask for links

It’s a way that few people use to meet new people. Yet everyone knows someone.

If you want to meet someone in particular, ask your relationships if they know someone who knows that person and ask them to connect you. At the
end of the day, a connection always has more weight than a contact launched with your eyes closed. Even if someone presents you in a very approximate way as “a friend of a friend but I trust him, you should meet him”, it will always be better a simple email or a LinkedIn invitation.

Ask for links

Now that it’s said, it’s important to make sure you don’t harass people with contact. It is a helping hand that must be reciprocal as much as possible. 

For example: I know a few people who have very long arms. They know some very powerful and influential people very well. By knowing these people, they know the value of their network and they do not open it to the first comer.

If you want to take advantage of other people’s network, you need to create your own. You can’t just request connections if you can’t make the device with a service of equal value. That’s your jo
b. Build your own network so that the person you’re asking for connects feels confident. It will be because:

  • You are a friendly relationship
  • She has confidence in your well-being and skills
  • She knows that one day the other, you can do her favor

5. Give, give, give and give again! Then ask

Tip 5: Give 10x more than the others.

When I meet someone, my first thought is not “what could this person bring me?” My
first thought is, “How can I help this person?”

When you help someone achieve their goals, connect them with someone, take a step or overcome an obstacle, you bring a lot to your relationship. You’re building a relationship, a friendship. You show your willingness to “invest” in him or her. You emphasize your values and build a relationship of trust. 

When people immediately ask for something from someone they have just met, the basics of the relationship are not at all the same. They know right away that they are just a means and no one likes to feel like they are being used.

Give it first. Give, give, give and give even more.

From a psychological point of view, it is extremely useful in the long run. It is never very good to rely solely on the benevolence of others. You have to be able to give without expecting anything in return. If an opportunity falls on you through this relationship, so much the better. If
not, it doesn’t matter.

6. Keep your word

Keeping your word is essential. No one will recommend someone who is unreliable. No one recommends someone you can count on once in two. We
can count on you or not. There is no half-measure.

This is especially true for business (and you would be surprised how small the world is, even in big cities…), your word and reputation is probably your main asset. If you say you’re going to do this or that, do it. If you promised to follow up on a conversation, do it. If you sign a contract, make sure it has been signed in the best possible conditions.

If you are not able to keep your promises, then your efforts will be destroyed. After that, for each signature, you will miss two others. Besides, a friend always keeps his word, right? 

Do something great

7. Introduce yourself

In conclusion, we end up with the simplest but the most essential. 
Introduce your
self. All that matters when you’re in a relationship or an introduction is who you are. Then grab the bull by the horns and introduce yourself. That’s who I am and that’s what I do. Be proud of who you are. At the
gym. At the pool. I
n the evening.
It doesn’
t matter where or what the event is. Introduce yo
urself.Take a step forward, reach out and say, “Hello, my name is…”

Thanks to the various tricks I mentioned, I met extraordinary people in this way. My will is to show you that networking does not mean deceiving the good will or generosity of others with tricks to get the best out of it without getting too involved on their side. Quite the contrary!

Good networking, the real one, is a simple state of mind. Open up to others. Open up to the opportunities of life and to the people who cross your path. True networking means building relationships and expanding your network with good people. In my opinion, true networking also involves making your generosity available and not wearing your commercial tie to sell at all costs.

“Be who you are and you will attract who you need.”

I hope this checklist will help you to have a global vision of the actions to be taken to succeed in your networking. Don’t hesitate to equip yourself with tools like NRM – Network Relationship Manager to best manage each of your relationships.

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