These are the key ingredients for the great recipe of “NETWORKING”
What is the definition of Networking? Socialize for professional or personal gain. Getting together with new acquaintances to ultimately complete a transaction or solidify a relationship. Connect for developing relationships into solid transactions or solid relationships.
1-BE CONFIDENT OF WHO YOU ARE! DO NEVER BE INTIMATED OR SHOW EMBARRASSMENT. After all everybody is a Human and we all have equal bodily functions.
Good morning, as said last week we will be having a series of Networking minutes in our get together, today is chapter two and these articles will be posted in Network Doctor RVA. Well today we analyze in the first Ingredient “BE CONFIDENT OF WHO YOU ARE! DO NEVER BE INTIMIDATED OR SHOW EMBARRASSMENT!”
Do you know that I am an awful introvert? Probably the most private person you ever met, but every day I put a smile in my face and start a new day with confidence to go out there and look as the top extrovert in the World and meet people. I might be an introvert for sure but one thing is certain I don’t get intimidated by anybody in any circumstance. Why? Let me give you small story, when I came to this country I went to work in an apparel factory making $3.50 an hour (at the time it looked like a fortune to me) as button operator, using a sewing machine placing buttons in jackets. One of the owners of the factory called me one Saturday and told me that he needed a secretary immediately as his bookkeeper was going through surgery and if I wanted the job. Of course, I said yes immediately, I took the job, went to secretarial schools and graduated in half the time, learned everything about accounting and bookkeeping and started my next job. After doing this new job for one year, one day I saw that the owner received a letter from the Garment workers Union penalizing him for a big amount based on payroll fees that had not been paid.
He comes to me all worried, remember Unions 40 years ago, were much stronger than today and they had the ability to close a business with penalties and so on. I looked at the books, I explained to him the fees were totally wrong and without any base as all the books were proper and correct. He didn’t know what to do as he had been summoned to the Union Main office in NY and first he didn’t want to go and he said he rather pay than face them. Well little me, knowing nothing about anything, I told him that the only way will be to negotiate the penalty and ask for the fees to be cancelled, but in his opinion such a thing was impossible, they would never listen.
I volunteered to go with him and fight it back. After several days of talking to him and suggesting, he finally said he would drive me to NY but at the last minute getting closer to the building in Times Square, he said I had to go alone and see what I could do, because he was very nervous and he would not go upstairs. That was my first network meeting that is for sure, I got on the elevator, my hair was up in a European bun, I had a new 2-piece suit on (a sample from the factory), and obviously, I never had been in a big Union office, but as soon as I got in, I was taken to a big conference room and I have 5 big tall American middle aged men waiting for me, with menacing faces. Well I told them my boss was sick with the flu and I was the only person available to come and talk about the penalties and I did what I always do now, put my straight posture on, look at them straight at their faces and put my best smile out, take out the ledgers and accounting paperwork and show them line by line where they had made a mistake and the company was correct and completely transparent. The 5 man were appalled but guess what, they had no more arguments, they smiled back and I won the meeting, the penalties were cancelled as I had shown them everything was correct. I came downstairs and told my boss that everything was fine and we won.
The next morning, I saw in the mirror my first gray hair. Now you understand my hair color. Also, the Union representatives since then, every time they came to the factory, always smiled at me and treated me with respect. This happened 40 years ago, so now you understand where and how I learned to network.
So, I hope you understand the relationship between attitude, confidence, a smile and winning the room. That is the first ingredient of success, never be embarrassed of who you are or feel intimidated because the room is full of men or women, or maybe you are not as educated as others or you don’t make the same amount of money others make or maybe the others are taller and very well dressed and you are short and a little awkward. Use your smile as you best accessory, use your body posture as you best asset, straight back, shoulders down with lots of confidence, you might not be the smartest or the wealthiest or have the best job, but it is your confidence and posture that will win the situation. So get up and with confidence and a great attitude, win the game!
Networking Tip- Networking is the vehicle for developing relationships that ultimately will translate into transactions or successful relationships.
-So, knowing that, one of the most things are when you meet somebody in a network meeting to keep their information and can contact them again. Usually you hand your business card and you get one in return. But then what do you do with the card you just received?
I have given that question to several of the people I have met in this huge network. Some put it in their car and eventually get thrown out or lost, some put them on their desk and eventually have a big pile they never look at, some just lose those cards and never remember where they are.
In my first 212 meeting where I was invited by McKinley Tucker, he took the time to show me that it was very important to be organized with business cards as eventually those would become my inventory, he told me to immediately download Cam Card or CC on my smart phone which is an app totally free and scan the business cards and keep the information in memory. Well I certainly did that immediately so I can refer to my cards whenever I need the info. Besides I also keep every physical card, I put those in the special books for business cards (you will get the first one once you become a member of 212). Now on my case I have about 30 of those books filled up by now and obviously, Andy will not be giving me books every time I need more. In one year, I have accumulated around 2,000 business cards so Andy would go broke with me.