Networking and Connecting

Welcome to Season 2, Episode 4 of Mind Muscle Movement with Lindsey Heiserman! In this episode, I am talking about networking, connecting with other business owners and how important these are to building a successful business.

I discuss:

– Networking Event Experiences

– Treat Networking Like Coffee With A Friend

– If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get

– Dedicate Time To Online Or In-Person Networking As Part Of Your Business

…and more! 

Listen to the full episode here:

Here are some highlights:

First Experience With Networking 

“I walked into a room of 80 people that I didn’t know. I knew one person, my client, I was her guest. I welcomed right away. Now that’s not the case everywhere,” Lindsey said. “But I walked in and the process that they had for visitors was so great. I was ushered in. I was given a couple of people to directly speak to, that might be interested in what I did. Then I went through the meeting and I am very comfortable speaking in front of people, so getting up and talking in front of 80 people for my 35­-40 ­second commercial about my business wasn’t hard.”

Don’t Let Networking Be Purely About Sales, It’s About Growth 

“But I went in with the expectation that I didn’t hedge my success on getting sales,” Heiserman said. “This is key, this is probably the most important thing that I wanna say this entire podcast about networking, is that if you’re only in it and your only goal is to get sales, you will likely not succeed. You will likely not feel great. You will not feel successful. You will not be successful.

Okay, so I went into this meeting and the whole time that I was in this networking group with just a simple goal of, I want to get better at speaking about my job. Speaking about my business and meeting more people. Because like I said, your network is your net worth. So in person, I went every week, and one of the guys in the group always said, ‘I just show up and have coffee with my friends.”

 If You Feel Tongue Tied Ask Someone About Themselves 

“Everybody likes to talk about themselves. Even if you’re shy,” Lindsey said. “Even if you’re introverted, if someone asks you and is genuinely interested, people love to talk about themselves.”

Questions To Ask Other Than “What Do You Do?” 

“Saying like, ‘What do you do for fun? Where do you like to travel?’ Just have a conversation with them. Truly,” Heiserman said. “That is all networking is, it’s having a conversation.”

Feel Comfortable With Who You Do Business With 

“It’s like going to a doctor. Starting with a therapist. Finding a personal trainer. Basically, anyone that you do business with, if you don’t feel comfortable with them, you don’t have to stay with them,” Lindsey said. “Same goes for networking, if the group doesn’t feel right to you, keep looking. That’s okay. You can keep looking until you find the one that feels good. And as I mentioned earlier, I then switched chapters. So this is also really important.”

“I kind of felt like after a couple of years my time had run out in this particular chapter. Here’s how I knew: I was putting forth a lot more effort then I felt I was getting in return. So it doesn’t have to be, ‘I do this, you do that exchange,’ but it did need to feel like people were supporting me back. And it didn’t feel like that energy exchange was happening.”

Discussing Your Business Weekly Is So Valuable

“The biggest and most important things were that I had to talk about my business every single week, and that is something in my opinion that is so valuable,” Heiserman said. “Because when you have to do a 30 to 60 second commercial in front of other people with the goal of getting business, you gotta know what you wanna say.”

“You are practicing and you are thinking about your business. You are coming up with more creative marketing and all of those things are so important. Just the presence and the practice that you have being up in front of people and talking professionally is so valuable.”

Ask Questions And Dig Deeper

“So one of the questions was, how do you make yourself memorable with the people that you meet? And that’s really interesting, right?” Lindsey said. “I was doing a one to one meeting with a woman that I met in a group, and she said to me, ‘You are really good at this.’ Honestly, it’s because I was just asking her questions about her business. Not just the very basic questions. Dig a little deeper. Ask more meaningful questions. That’s another bonus you get from being in networking. If you really allow yourself to learn the art of being a good questioner, being a good listener, tying things together for people, so you are memorable when you don’t just talk about yourself.”

Don’t Be Pushy, Be Confident 

“So if you are feeling like, ‘Oh, I just feel so pushy in my work,’ maybe think about how you’re talking about it,” Heiserman said. “Would you talk about it in a different way? Could you share a different way? Some of that is in how you present. So for me, when I think about my strengths, talking, podcasting and coaching are my strengths, so the best way for me to be confident and demonstrate my business is to do the things I love to do that I’m great at. Things that I feel great doing, versus something that’s more formal or I put more into a box. So it could be the approach that you’re having to talk about your business or your work, it could just be the way that you’re thinking about it.”

 Make The Ask And Be Bold 

“If I think about all the things I’ve talked about so far and my own experience, ‘Make the ask’ and ‘Be bold’ are probably the two biggest things,” Lindsey said. “If I could go back and redo stuff, that’s what I would focus on, like how do I just make the ask more. Yes, people are gonna say no. Of course, they’re gonna say no. You don’t want everyone to say yes to your offer, but I wish I would have asked people, ‘Do you want to do personal training? Do you want to be in my group class?’ This is what I have to offer, and to really stand proud in that.”

Networking Is Just Conversations, Coffee, And Friends 

“So when you think about networking, the more you do it, the more competent you’ll get at it,” Heiserman said. “The more you will practice these conversation skills. It’s ultimately just having a conversation. So you can replace the words networking with conversation, with coffee, with friends, and just remember all you’re doing is asking someone about their life. Asking them about their business.” 

Online Conversations In The Comments Section 

“Isn’t it great when people come and have conversations in your comments section? That’s so exciting, Heiserman said. “You’re building community, right? Getting your name out there. So networking online, people don’t just find you, they kind of find you naturally if you’re going to an in­ person networking event, ’cause you’re there, but online, you have to show up. You have to be seen. You have to be proactive. But the same things apply. Don’t be weird. Don’t be spammy. Just have a conversation.”

“So for example, when I meet someone new on the internet, I like to leave a voice memo.  If it’s a new follower on my page, I say, ‘Hey, really great to meet you here on Instagram, thank you so much for your follow, that means a lot to me,’ Then I’ll say something along the lines of, ‘I took a look at your page and I see you do this, this, and this. I would love to know more. If you have a minute, could you just share a little bit more with me about you or your business, and I can’t wait to help support you.”

Online Networking Requires Genuine Connection 

“So online networking has to do with genuine connection. If it feels overwhelming, set a timer on it. Networking meetings are an hour or an hour and a half, once a week,” Lindsey said. “So imagine if you did that once a week. You sat down for an hour and a half as if it was an in­ person networking meeting, and you went around online to different people’s pages or profiles. You ask questions. You send messages. You interact on posts. You genuinely want to know how you could help other people.”

Practice Makes Perfect Even In Networking

“I’ve had so many, just frankly, trash meetings with people,” Heiserman said. “But it takes practice. You don’t get good at networking when you don’t do it a lot. You don’t get competent and confident in your networking or conversation skills by never doing it.”

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