Do you have to force yourself to “network”?
Yes? I’m not surprised. You’re in the fantastic company of the vast majority of holistic practitioners who feel really awkward about breaking the ice at formal events designed to help you meet other people.
What you may not have considered is that networking is more than “networking events.” There are great opportunities to network at church, PTA meetings, your Garden or Book Club or the County Fair. You can network at a wedding or a birthday party, or even at the grocery store.
In fact—you don’t have make a special outing to do it—you can network almost anywhere you’re already going. The key is to use the situation to your advantage so that you’re not stuck in a corner waiting for someone to say “Hello” to you.
Lots of practitioners have trouble starting a conversation, especially about our own work, and today I want to make it easier for you to do that at one kind of event where everyone ends up sooner or later.
Welcome! Here’s a name-tag for you!
Next time you’re at an event where you wear a name-tag, use that tag to open the door to talking with other people, so you can sit back and enjoy the conversation.
First of all, if there’s a plastic holder, resist the temptation to insert your business card instead of writing on the tag! That’s a way of AVOIDING talking to people, because it focuses them on that tiny print and all those extra words that don’t mean anything to people who haven’t talked with you long enough to know why they are important.
Instead, your object should be to engage with people. Encourage people to find out how warm, friendly and maybe even funny you are—definitely a person they want to know!
You want them focused on your face—your warm eyes and your smile—and there’s an easy way to make that happen.
It starts with what you write on your tag
Write your first name, and something about what you do—NOT your modality!
If your writing is illegible, find someone with a great-looking tag and ask them to write yours for you. For starters, tell them how great their own handwriting is—they’ll be thrilled to hear it, and you can make your first acquaintance with no problem!
You’re really in great shape if they tell you “My writing is terrible, and I got MaryLou to do it for me”! Just, ask them to introduce you to Mary Lou because you need some of that great handwriting on your tag, too!
Now you’ve already met two people!
See how easy this is?
It’s really important that you (or MaryLou) write these 2 things:
- Your FIRST name only in BIG LETTERS. You can share your last name later, if it’s appropriate.
- ONE short result that people get from your work.
And it’s equally important that you NOT write your modality … or tag line … or the name of your practice. No matter how clever the name of your business is, it’s going to help very few people to understand why they should continue talking to you.
Here are some suggestions to get your own ideas flowing:
- More weeding, less pain
- Comfort at the Computer
- Balance Without Exercise
- No more sciatica… back pain… sore feet… neck pain… headaches… (choose ONLY ONE!!)
- Seniors + Driving = Safety
Now you’re ready to get people to see it using a reflexive trigger—this is easy and you’re going to love it because it’s got to do with body logic! It works like this:
Step 1: Put your name-tag high up near your right shoulder.
Step 2: Give the other person the chance to see it by extending your right hand while you confidently introduce yourself—”Hi, I’m ____!”
Shaking hands turns your new acquaintance’s body and head slightly toward your own face and right shoulder. The other person will see your name (and that reinforces or clarifies what they jut heard), easily read the result you get for your clients, and most often will ask you about it!
From there, it’s easy to keep talking.
Try it the next time you’re handed a name-tag and a Sharpie, and see how many conversations you can start before you even say “Hello!”
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