The Softer Side of Networking: Heart

By Sabrina Risley

Push. Shove. Convince. Sell. I don’t know about you, but none of these words resonate with me. Likely, they don’t resonate with you either. Yet, most people embody this type of energy when networking to grow their business, even if they say they don’t like being “sold to,” “convinced,” or “pushed” into a buying decision.

These habits stem from repeating what we’ve seen others do, instead of following our own guidance on what feels right and natural: connecting and building relationships.

And as you’ve probably noticed, those old ways of being have started to crumble and are no longer working for professionals.  This energy just causes walls to go up, making it hard to connect with people.

Let’s look at how to build your business differently, using your heart at the start. When you take a heart-centered approach to networking, it doesn’t mean swapping tears, woes, and tales. It’s simply a matter of taking a people-first approach.

Heart-centered networking essentially means connecting with people on a deeper level. It’s having a conversation with someone you meet, without having an agenda or an intention to ‘go in for the close.’  It’s means allowing yourself to open up to someone, to see and hear what they really need, to welcome the opportunity to share referrals, relationships, power partners, and not feel threatened by competition or spending dollars.  It’s looking for opportunities to serve and contribute.  It’s understanding the passion behind someone’s work and the results they produce so you can become one of their cheerleaders or raving fans.

Heart-centered networking is also an energy. It’s a way to “be” with people. When you are in a place of being heart-centered, you aren’t zooming around the room in attempt to collect as many business cards as possible. Instead, you are taking the time to get to know each person you meet and looking for a connection.

When you are in a space of practicing heart-centered networking, you…

  • —  SLOW DOWN and ENJOY, CONNECT & BE with people!
  • —  Get INVOLVED in their story
  • —  Project GOODWILL upon them
  • —  Show EMOTION when appropriate
  • —  CARE deeply for them
  • —  Open your HEART to them
  • —  SHARE yourself with them

 It also means there is…

  • —  No Selling
  • —  No Neediness
  • —  No Me-Focused Actions 

Heart-centered networking is a co-creative experience between two professionals. When you use your heart in professional networking, you allow others the chance to make a connection with you in a deeper and more meaningful way. They’ll never forget you for that. And without even needing to explain what you do for work, they will be drawn to your energy, will become a fan of yours, singing your praises just because they see your real character.  All of this because you are a professional with whom they have a connection, they can trust and can pass business to with confidence.  Why wouldn’t they want to do business with you and recommend you to others? I know I would.

(c) 2012 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include Sabrina Risley’s Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Sabrina Risley founded Behind The Moon, Inc.® in 2003, a Colorado-based networking organization that sets itself apart with its motto “grow your business by helping others grow theirs.” Behind The Moon offers several networking events across Colorado’s Front Range that attract professionals who network to give rather than get. You will find Sabrina speaking to audiences about effective networking techniques, the power of partnerships, and principles of service and giving as a means to grow a business. Sign up for Sabrina’s free report, Networking For Success at http://www.behindthemooninc.com/index.php/free-report.

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Building Your Network Through Gravitational Pull

By Andrea Costantine

Have you ever felt that building your network is a struggle and takes a lot of energy and hard work?  Well, it’s quite possible that you’ve been using shear force, pushing, and paddling upstream.  This is the exact opposite of building your network through gravitational pull which is all about serving and taking a genuine interest in others, rather than “convincing” them about your greatness.

Bob Burg, author of Endless Referrals, The Go-Giver and Go-Givers Sell More explains the difference between pushing vs pulling like this: “pushing is telling people what you want; pulling is finding out what they want. “ Pushing on people doesn’t move them closer to you. As Burg writes, “…ask them about themselves, find out what their interests are, put their interests ahead of your own, and you can “pull” people from vast distances. The influence created by pushing does not carry far. The influence created through pulling is limitless.”

Push strategies are me-centered, when you are talking, selling and thinking of your own interests and agenda. Pull strategies take the focus off of you and your sales and include genuinely taking an interest in others, connecting people to leads and resources, building relationships and giving in ways that meet the needs of others.

Burg also writes “The secret to developing a vast and thriving sales business is the impact you have on the people you have not yet met.” Think of the times when someone knows of you before you’ve even met them. This is your influence preceding you. So consider how you can impact, influence and grow your network using “pull” strategies. Be the person who genuinely helps and gives to others and you will find that people naturally gravitate towards you and the opportunities you have to draw great people into your network multiply significantly.

Now let’s consider how to incorporate pull strategies into your networking. To some, networking is a disguised version of “tit for tat” as Burg writes. In a dog-eat-dog world, it’s all too easy to consider “what have you done for me lately?”  Doing good deeds and being a Go-Giver isn’t about keeping score. Recognize that when you give and do for others, the returns may not come back directly from the people you serve. You will receive gifts back in a variety of ways… an old client hiring you back for an upcoming project, new business coming from the referral of a raving fan, a lead coming from a “competitor” with whom you’ve developed a respectful relationship.

Have a positive influence on others and make networking about giving and serving others. Being a Go-Giver is about doing things for others, taking a genuine interest in them, and ultimately serving the best interest of those around you. Whether you see a direct return from a particular person or not, it simply doesn’t matter, because the truth is that Go-Givers do indeed sell more.

To expand your influence and achieve the success you desire , join national best-selling author, Bob Burg and Behind The Moon live on April 8, 2011 in the Denver Tech Center for Influence & Success: The Go-Giver Way.  More Information.

(c) 2010, 2011  Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include the Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

 

Andrea Costantine is a writer, speaker, and wanna-be artist, focusing on the good things in life.  She is a perpetual optimist, lover of nature, yoga, travel, and new experiences.  Learn more about Andrea at www.andreacostantine.com.

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