Boss Lady

How to build meaningful connections – not just networks!


Networking is the most fundamental part of any business. If you want to be successful in business, you need a network to help build your brand and sell your product.  Networking can be daunting and it is something we know we have to do, but when it comes down to it – for some of us it can be awkward! Fear kicks in and let’s face it, sometimes we’re too eager and we burn the opportunity.

Successful networking requires a shift in focus. When we remove the fear and focus on making an interpersonal connection, magic happens!

Here are some of our top tips for building meaningful connections – not just networks.

Be real, just be you

When you approach networking in a way that is authentic and talk from your heart, then the fear just disappears. When you realise you’re only having a chat about something that you’re passionate about the conversation flows.

Get good at telling your story, there is something so powerful when we open up and display our dreams, goals and vulnerabilities. It is relatable and people want to hear your story to understand how your life has enhanced as a result of what you’re offering. Remember; people don’t just buy your products, they buy you. They don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

Get to know who you’re talking to – Invest in the relationship

There are different types of networking and different types of conversations you want to be having with people. There are conversations you have with your immediate network (warm market) and they are different to the conversations you have with strangers (cold market).

Understanding the difference is important – get back to the authenticity. At the beginning of your conversation take the time to ask questions such as; What do they do? What do they care about? What’s important to them? What are their goals? What works well is opening a conversation with “I’d love to learn a little bit more about you and what you do?”.

When you know the answers to these questions you will have a good foundation to position the opportunity you want to share. A relationship is about building trust and a mutual respect for one another. You should have a genuine interest in the other person. Build a relationship before you introduce your product, service or business.

Play the long game – good things take time

There is a difference between getting it done and playing the long game. As the old saying goes “good things take time”.

Operating your business in full momentum and with a sense of urgency is awesome, but we must stay mindful that we nurture the relationship in the process. This is the difference between building a relationship with a solid foundation rather than one that is purely transactional.

Hold off on the sales pitch

Your sales pitch is an opportunity to communicate the value of your business, service or product offering. A good sales pitch is one that connects on a more meaningful level. When you can communicate to the needs of your prospects you are able to demonstrate the value of what you are offering them.

Having a solid understanding of what their needs are and what you are offering enables you to approach the conversation in an authentic way which will always result in a higher conversion rate.

Let go of the outcome

We must learn to let go of the outcome. But what does that really mean? Letting go means that you have faith in the process and trust that what you are doing will take you where you want to go.

Do the above but don’t stay attached to the outcome. When you go through the motion of building the relationship and take the pressure off “doing the deal” the result will happen organically. So, let go of the control and focus on the activity you need to do to reach you goal and build the authentic relationships, which will give you a foundation to grow a sustainable business.

About Michelle Szalinski

Michelle Szalinski and Kristina Benkotic Ellul are the founders of Networkish, an app that brings networking into the 21st century. They are passionate about helping people build stronger networks and more meaningful connections, which will result in bigger, better and more sustainable businesses.

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