Get your cell phone out and do this:
So, you are not great at networking, but your business depends on it. That’s fine a lot of us are not great with networking. I am horrible at networking and I work in an industry where most of the work you get is from people you know. So, you would think that I am great networking, but not so much.
One thing I noticed about myself is that when I work in films I am there early and get to work right away, I am not good at introducing myself. I have worked with big name actors and usually what I do is come up to them and ask if they’re ready to go. Yes, really, that is the very first thing I’ve said so many times. Usually their response as you would imagine is, “who are you?” So, off the bat I start the day and this possible good professional relationship on a bad note. What should I have done? “hey my name is Eddie I’m the assistant director, thanks for coming to work with us today…” that simple statement opens the relationship and makes people feel welcome.
Ok, that’s great but I don’t have that many opportunities to network…
That’s ok we are all busy. I was listening today to one of my new favorite podcasts, Entrepreneurs on Fire, with JLD. On one of the most recent episodes he was interviewing Jordan Harbinger of JordanHarbinger.com and Jordan was talking about a very simple thing you can do to keep some good connections even if you’re not great at networking. It involves your cellphone, as you might have guessed form the title of this post. Take out your phone, scroll through your old text messages all the way to the bottom and text the last few numbers you find. Most times these are people you saw a long time ago, and for one reason or another you haven’t tried to connect with them again. Now, make sure you do this when you don’t need anything at all from these people, this is not a sales call, very important that you keep that in mind. His approach is simple, he sends a text saying “hey it’s been a while since we had lunch at, ____where ever the last place you saw them was_____ I just wanted to say hi and see how you’re doing. No rush on the reply, I realize everyone is busy. ‘sign your name’.”
Simple, right? I did what he said right at that moment, went back all the way to the end and found a couple of people who I don’t care to talk to, so I skipped those and then I texted a few old contacts that I haven’t gotten in touch with. I got one reply right away, and another a few hours later. Now I have an opening to grow those relationships and the best part is I reached out to them when I don’t need anything at all. This is important because it breaks down all the protective walls that usually go up when you hear from someone you haven’t talked to in a long time. You know like, “are they doing a new MLM and will want me to buy into it?” I know you’ve gotten that call too, and yeah it’s very annoying.
Try it out, take out your phone and text a few old contacts, I would love to hear how that goes. Oh, make sure you don't text a bitter ex, that might not be a contact you want to have.