Do you know the regulars at your networking group?
A few weeks ago I was speaking to a client about her 2023 networking strategy.
We started talking about her business. And we went into her unique selling points, and who she needs to get talking to.
And one thing became crystal clear.
Her business values are so clearly aligned with people, the planet, and good culture.It was so obvious to me that she needed to spend some time exploring the B corp movement.
So we started looking at various B Corp groups that she could go and be a part of.
And as we were talking, I realised something. She had already interacted with some of the people she needed to have more detailed conversations with at Networking-in…
What a headstart!
So, my advice to her was simple.
“If you’re going to have a one-to-one with anyone, go and talk to those people within our gang that are already on the B corp journey, and display as passionately to them as you have to me about why you want to work with those sorts of people because they will know lots of other people who think like them.”
It sounds obvious, but there’ so much value in researching who the people are going to be in the room.
And there’s possibly even more value in making friends with the person at the centre of the network.
So why do I think this is so important:
1. It’s a great conversation starter
Here’s something that you can’t deny – everyone loves to talk about themselves.
In fact, scientifically, talking about oneself activates the same areas of the brain that light up when eating good food, taking drugs, and even exercising.
Simply put, self-disclosure is gratifying. It gives us a neurological buzz.
So, if you want to start a good conversation with someone, having some kind of prior information about them is great!
Don’t go into huge detail, you don’t want to come across as a stalker.
But a simple, “I saw you’re into cycling! Tell me more about that…” or “I see you used to work here…” or “I see you know Steve..Tell me more about that” could go a long way.
If you find things that you both have interest in, that’s even better! And it will definitely make the person remember you.
2. You can find out how they can help you
Nearly everyone you come across in life can teach you something that you didn’t already know.
And when it comes to business owners, it’s no different.
There are always nuggets of wisdom to be shared from experience.
By doing a quick Google or Linked In search, it’s much easier to discover how they can help you.
Of course you’ll come off the wrong way if you pitch slap. In fact, you probably won’t gain anything from it.
So don’t do that. Focus more on creating a connection first, then the other benefits can come later.
3. You can find out how you can help them
Networking is about giving!
The best networkers I know understand that there is a lot to benefit from giving.
There’s an unwritten law in Networking that those who are most lavish with their contacts, connections and referrals are generally the people who receive the most in return…
And it makes sense, right?
When you’re willing to give to other people, they also become free to give to you.
It’s the law of reciprocity.
Remember, it takes very little effort to refer someone to your contacts. Yet, it may just turn out to be one of your greatest investments.
By researching the regulars at a networking group, you get better perspective of how to help them achieve their goals.
So even if you do nothing else, understand givers’ gain!
4. It makes you stand out
Have you ever had a conversation with someone and thought, “This is really my kind of person!”
It’s because you seemed to relate to what they were saying.
More often than not, when you research the regulars, this happens.
You can relate with the things they say and do, and you can easily contribute to the conversation.
It goes without saying that this makes you stand out from the crowd.
That way, you can easily follow up with them and they will remember you.
In short, researching the regulars makes you a lot more memorable when you have conversations with them.
5. It’s easier to follow up after that initial conversation
The most important rule in networking is to follow up.
Once you’ve laid the ground, you’ve researched the person and had a meaningful conversation with them and found common ground, things become nice.
Why? You won’t have to introduce yourself much after that. They’ll already know you.
Researching the regulars is good for both you and the other person.
It reduces the amount of time you need to set up an initial connection.
So when you leave the event, ensure you follow up with your connections within 48 hours.
Chances are, you’ll be fresh in their memory then and you won’t have to run through introductions all over again.
Why is following up so important? It allows you to stay in contact with contacts you have made, show them you value their time, and build deeper connections.
Additionally, following up is a great way to show your appreciation and thank contacts for their time and advice.
Researching the regulars at your networking group is important.
It gives you more perspective on the networking group as a whole. It lays the ground for you to form a meaningful relationship with them. It helps you to get to know them and how you can help one another.
In summary, here are 5 reasons why you need to research the regulars:
- It’s a great conversation starter
- You can find out how they can help you
- You can find out how you can help them
- It easily makes you stand out from the crowd
- It’s easier to follow up after that
Researching the regulars is one of the basic networking tips that can give you numerous benefits. And in my ebook, we talk about this and other tips to network like a pro. Download here.