Many of us are networking with the wrong intent in mind. We go in with the mindset of “what’s in it for me”, but this is the wrong approach. Let me explain.

How many of you have walked into a room of potential clients, business cards in hand, with the main goal of getting as many people interested in you and how you can help them as possible? Let’s face it, we all do. However, with this mindset we are setting ourselves up for failure before we even begin to talk. Why? Because networking isn’t about you, it’s about the person you plan to meet or connect with.

Here’s the difference based on a few typical conversations:

  • “Hey, how are you. My name is John and I help so many of my clients get the best rates when it comes to insurance. Have you looked at your insurance plans lately? I bet I could find where your insurance is lacking and help you get insurance you can truly count on.”

As opposed to this conversation:

  • “Hey my name is John. So, tell me about your business and how you help your clients? Wow, that’s amazing. Tell me more, I would love to hear about your product and how you differ from the rest.”

The first conversation is with the mindset of “What’s in it for me,” while the second one is geared towards the person you are speaking with. Do you see the difference? Which would you prefer if you were on the other end of that conversation? Someone only interested in telling you about themselves or one who wants to know more about you and your business?

I bet you chose the later one. We all want to be heard and respected, but how can we expect this in the first place when we go in talking about ourselves?

Now when you go to your next networking event, instead of starting off about you, get the other person to open up about them. Ask them questions:

  • find out how they get their clients,
  • if this is their first time at this event,
  • how long they’ve been in business.

Now ask them how you can help support them in their business. I’ll bet you will be the first one who comes to mind when they take your business card. Why? Because you thought of them and not yourself. That’s essentially what networking is all about, making connections that work for everyone involved.

In fact, I would be willing to bet that if you go in with this changed mindset, not only will you walk away with a lot of cards, you’ll walk away with true connections that can turn into clients.

Here’s to your entrepreneurial success.

Katrina Garcia