Yes, why indeed. I think most business people would say that networking activities and making new contacts would add to their top lines. So, of course, even as they try to narrow the field by looking for “qualified” contacts, the idea is to get to know as many people as you can, since you never know whom the people you meet might know. It is also a widely-known fact that, although you might be enthusiastically wanting to meet decision makers and economic buyers, those same decision makers and economic buyers might not be as enthusiastic about meeting you. What, then, is one to do? Should one therefore make himself as interesting to the decision makers and economic buyers as he can?
That is a fatal mistake. When trying to expand your circle of contacts, never try to impress. If you are already impressive, you are. If you’re not, then you’re not, and you had better do something about not being impressive, but not when trying to get more contacts. No one who really counts will be impressed by shows. If you try it and somehow manage to impress a contact with your histrionics, and eventually get to some sort of sale, congratulations, you’ve gotten yourself a client or customer who is easily misled because he doesn’t know what he wants. Go ahead, enjoy each other, you deserve it!
Here are a few reasons why people would want to get to know you:
1. You take an interest in them, not try to be interesting yourself.
If your interest is genuine, people will know it, will enjoy talking to you, and will remember that you made them feel good about themselves.
2. You have high self-esteem.
High self-esteem comes, not from repeating positive platitudes to yourself, but rather from taking action to hone the skills you already have and developing the skills you need but don’t. It comes from being self-disciplined, working hard at the right things and being an expert in the fields you say you are an expert in. Low self-esteem? Then I wouldn’t want to know you, you’re out of it.
3. You have sufficient base knowledge to talk intelligently about a wide range of topics.
The catchphrase I like to use is “Deep and Wide.” Make sure you have depth in a few topics, and be well-read in a good variety of others, even if they might seem totally unconnected with what you do. Be in a position to be able to at least ask intelligent questions even if the topic is absolutely new to you.
4. You display sound strategic sense.
Decision makers and economic buyers need to make difficult decisions all the time. Being able to talk to someone who understands what those decisions entail can be very helpful for them. Talking to someone who knows about the nightmare of moral dilemmas and that ill-used adage of “the greatest good of the greatest number” removes some of the awful weight of responsibility and hollow sense of loneliness.
5. You exude good character vibes.
If you are a creep, people will know sooner or later. Oft times, it is sooner rather than later. Maintain good character. People in power like to have people of sound character around them. They know instinctively that people of sound character have fewer dilemmas choosing between right and wrong, and are able to navigate grey areas with more boldness.
Think other people would still like to get to know you?