The Kintish Networking Process: It all starts with the effort of turning up
“Sell yourself before your business.” This was one of many memorable tokens of advice the Sales and Marketing team at Cloud9 learnt from The inaugural Business Network lunch seminar on Wednesday 11th October, delivered by Will Kintish, a motivational speaker on networking.
Kintish, like other members of The Business Network, are passionate about sharing essential skills for building relationships in a sociable but business-centred context. When it comes to establishing initial connections, nothing beats personable, face to face interactions. It was refreshing to hear ‘prospects’ and ‘contacts’ referred to as people and equally, that businesses are more likely to win over ‘people’ through demonstrations of trust to create sustainable relationships.
Encouragingly, the seminar promoted what might seem like simple advice for engaging with new people at events but when put into practice it’s not always that simple. Selling ourselves and the weight of our business all in one to strangers can be overwhelming and intimidating. We’ve all walked into a room at some point and felt completely isolated or unwelcome. But as you’re taking that step back, it’s important to assess the room.
Thinking about that awkward feeling about approaching a group of people, everyone was able to identify with Kintishs’s observations of six reoccurring formations. These were divided into closed couples, closed trios and bigger groups, then open couples, open trios and individuals. Working out these groups quickly will allow you to negotiate your position in the room. Approachable groups like individuals and open groups are the ones we smile to and ask ‘Please may I join you?’ What’s more, be the friendly face in the room who involves the wall flower and initiates icebreakers.
Once you’ve summed up the courage to speak to a new person or group it’s time to ASHINE!
Appearance: Show you care about the business you represent
Smile: Project warmth and approachability
Handshake: Don’t crush that hand or give a wet fish stroke!
Interest: Ask thoughtful questions in response to others
Name: Introduce your name and pay attention to theirs!
Eye contact: Show respect as someone is speaking
Here are the top 10 habits and skills of world- class net-workers we learnt about:
Self- belief when attending group events
Be proud of your work and the company they represent
Polite and friendly
Share your knowledge and experiences
Reliable and committed
Peruse potential opportunities
Patient, understanding building a relationship takes time
Prepare appropriately for events
Actively listen and respond thoughtfully
We were so inspired by the networking session that we look forward to coaching the rest of the team on these skills. Happy networking everyone!