The secret to becoming a natural networker is to let your authentic self shine through to everyone you pass by during your day.
Attracting the right people to you is actually much easier than you might think. First spend some time thinking about the kind of person you would like to meet or work with. Picture that person and get a feel for the specific qualities you are looking for.
Next, imagine yourself going through your day and see this kind of person being very open and receptive to meeting you. See your day filled with a limitless supply of prospects coming toward you in all kinds of ways.
As you go about your day, be open and friendly to everyone you come into contact with, not because you want something from them but because it is simply an easier and more fun way to be.
Last night I was grocery shopping, and when the clerk said hello to me, she asked me how I was.
I replied enthusiastically, “I’m living it up!”
She seemed shocked but pleasantly surprised, and said, “That’s different. How do you do that?”
I said, “I guess I’ve just decided to live it up!”
We chatted while she rang up the groceries, and when I was leaving she said, “Well, you certainly helped put me in a better mood. Thanks.”
I wasn’t trying to get anything from her and I’m not particularly on a mission to spread good cheer around the world, I was just being who I am. Now here’s the fun part: when you smile at someone or make a nice observation and they don’t respond, don’t worry. They didn’t reject you and you’re not weird—they simply failed your interview before it ever got started!
It’s important that you be light and easy about meeting new people. Don’t go out with the mission of “stalking” people at the mall or the grocery store. Just live your life and be who you are. Here are some practical tips to help you become a natural networker:
1. Set an intention in the morning to contact at least one new person that day.
2. Smile at everyone—and I mean everyone! Don’t let the frowners get to you.
3. If appropriate, make an observation to the people who smile back. Say things like, “Nice day out,” or “This line is moving slowly.” If they grunt at you or don’t reply in kind, they just failed the second part of your interview! Leave them alone.
4. When you get a new name and number for your contact list, be excited and feel good about it. A good day in your networking business is when you have added even one new contact to your list. Enjoy, celebrate and let it shine!
MJ DURKIN is a prospecting coach and author of the books,
Double Your Contacts, Selling from the Heart and Double Your Downline.
He is the Managing Partner of the Sales Judo Academy and has been a
keynote speaker at some of the world’s largest sales training conventions.