Ranking right up there with public speaking on the list of things people loathe doing, networking is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. But ASI Orlando Education Day Speaker Meridith Elliott Powell made a concrete case for why it should be a staple in every business tool box.
“In whatever room you walk into, there are one or two people who can help you get whatever you want – new employees, connections or referrals,” she said during her session yesterday. “Because here’s the thing to remember: people want to help others become successful.”
Laughingly calling people who innately love to network “sick, twisted and confused,” Elliott Powell conceded that most people are profoundly uneasy with the thought of walking into a room full of strangers and starting a conversation. “But I’ll tell you this: you will absolutely make more money, be more successful and experience stronger ROI the more you network.”
Noting that most people aren’t taught how to properly network, Elliott Powell referred to studies showing that 15% of one’s success is based on technical skill, while 85% is due to the ability to connect. Basically, the stronger your network, the more chance you have to be a success.
Some effective networking tips offered by Elliott Powell included saying people’s names three times when first speaking to them, remembering that networks need to be cultivated consistently, and acknowledging that there’s no instant gratification in the process. “It may take two to three years to see real business from networking contacts,” she said. “But if you’re sincere and dedicated to cultivating this skill, you’ll be the first person they think of when they need promo items or services.”