Is Your Behavior Alienating?

This video is on my Networking for Success YouTube Channel, hosted by Entrepreneur.com.

Behavior is key when networking-it makes or breaks the connections, and ultimately, the relationships you build. I’ve spoken before about the differences between approachable or alienating behavior, but I want to take a deeper look into what qualifies behavior as alienating. You may watch this video and suddenly realize that the little nuances you may have passed off as nothing, are actually keeping you from successfully networking.

Here are four ways you may be alienating others when networking:

1. Negative Attitude: Nobody likes a Debbie Downer. Life is hard enough without having to lament about it all the time. If you’re always complaining or focusing on the negative aspects of life, you’re going to turn people off.

2. Closed Off Body Language: There’s a great graphic in the video that will show you what closed off body language looks like, but basically it means standing in a way that only allows for a conversation to happen between two or three people. Also, if you’re arms are crossed and you have a bored or scowled look on your face, people won’t want to approach you.

3. Incongruence: Do what you say you’re going to do. Don’t talk a big talk and not back it up. This will lead people to become skeptical of your dependability-which is bad if you’re looking to gain trusted referral partners.

4. Not Acting Interested in People: Be interested more than interesting.  A good networker has two ears and one mouth and uses them proportionately.

If you’re still not sure you’re exhibiting these behaviors, take a trusted friend or referral partner with you to your next event and ask them to notice if you act in any of the above ways; you can do the same for them. Have an honest conversation afterward about what you both noticed and work out ways to improve your behavior. At the next event, try and be aware of yourself and the reactions you get when you change your behavior.

 

 

 

Understanding Behavioral Profiles

A couple of weeks back, I posted a blog outlining some tactics for tapping into the customer’s perspective in order to increase sales in your business.  In that blog post, I promised I would write more in a future blog about behavioral profiles and today I am following through with that promise.

Understanding behavioral profiles is essentially about understanding the four different styles of behavior when looking at individuals.  It  is an excellent way to gain knowledge about how to craft your sales and reporting program to the style of communication most comfortable to the client as well as how to best connect with your fellow networkers.  All customers and all networkers like to be communicated with in a manner that is most familiar to them, and knowing their personality profiles/behavioral styles helps you customize a sales or networking approach for each unique individual.

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In the book Room Full of Referrals which I co-wrote with Dr. Tony Alessandra and Dawn Lyons, we offer insight into the four different behavioral styles and I have listed the character traits for each style below (I’ve also included information on how to best communicate with each style) in order to help you identify someone, adapt to their style, help them feel comfortable, and make them feel good so you can better connect with your customers as well as those you network with.

Go-Getters

Characteristics: Driven, Bold, Opinionated, Decisive, Direct, Strong Desire to Win, Strong Desire to Lead, Like to be in Charge, Love Control, Goal-Oriented, Have a “Get It Done Now” Attitude

How to Communicate With Them: Be Direct, Ask Only for a Short Amount of Time to Start–Say 30 Minutes Or So, Say You Will Come to Them–Makes It More Convenient for Them, Remind Them of What You Think You MIGHT Be Able to Do For Them But Don’t Commit to It Without Knowing More about Them (Networking), You May Be Able to Agree on a Date on the Spot–Do So, State That You Will Confirm Everything Via E-mail or Text (Whichever They Prefer) and Send Them a Reminder E-mail One Day Before–Do Not Call Them, Make Sure to Do What You Say

Promoters

Characteristics: Energetic, Outgoing, Fun-Loving, Positive, Talkative, Love Recognition, Dislike Details, Love to be the Center of Attention, Enjoy Simple Uncomplicated Things, Tend to Have a Large Social Network

How to Communicate With Them: Keep Your Energy Up and Smile, Let Them Know You Are Having a Great Time With Them (Networking), Describe a Bit About How You Think You Can Connect Them to Other People Who Could Be Very Interesting to Them (Networking), Say Something About a New Hot Spot That Just Opened or a Cool Place to Meet and See If They Can Fit You into Their Busy Schedule (Networking)–Makes Them Feel Important, If They Have Their Calendar Available Select a Date to Meet for About an Hour–You Will Need It As You May Not Get Down to Business Quickly, Let Them Know You Will Call Them to Reconfirm Everything, End by Saying Something About the Possibilities that Might Result From the Two of You Working Together–Describe the Vision and Have Them Buy into It

Nurturers

Characteristics: Patient, Helpful, Understanding, Sentimental, Reserved, Careful, Pleasing, Have a Difficult Time Saying “No,” Have Deep Relationships, Are Focused on Helping Others

How to Communicate With Them: Make Sure to Really Have Them Talk and You Listen, Share With Them How You Think the Two of You Would Be Really Compatible and How You Need to Understand More About Who They Are and How They Work With Their Clients (Networking), Tell Them You Would Love to Spend More Time With Them and See What Could Develop Over the Long-Term (Networking), Do an Option Close (an option close is when you give someone two options that you are okay with, so whichever one they choose you are already fine with and can move forward) on the Appointment and Ask, “Would it be possible to look at our schedule and see if we might have some time to spend together in the next week or so OR would you like me to call you next week and go from there?”–They Tend to Make a Quicker Decision When You Do an Option Close, Whichever Selection They Make Be Sure to Follow Up, Ask If It Would Be Okay If the Location Was a Bit Quiet So You Could Really Be Present With Each Other (Networking), Book out 1.5 Hours Just to Be Safe (Networking), Make It Clear That You Really Want to Get to Know Who They Are in Business Because You Truly Think You Can Help Them (Networking), Ask If It Is Okay to Call Them to Confirm the Appointment, Call to Confirm and Spend Several Minutes on the Phone with Them at That Time

Examiners

Characteristics: Effective, Efficient, Thorough, Research-Oriented, Avoid Risks, Loyal, Knowledge-Seeking, Analyze Everything, May Take a Long Time to Develop Trust, Make Calculated Decisions, Enjoy Strategies and Processes

How to Communicate With Them: Remember That You Will Need to Ask Them Lots of Questions as They May Not Give Information Out Freely, Ask Them If They Are Looking for Ways to Be More Effective in Their Networking (Networking), Talk To Them About Why the Two of You Could Be Effective Together (Networking), Ask If It Would Make Sense for the Two of You to Spend More Time Together to Figure Out the Details of How You Could Work Together (Networking), Ask If a Meeting at Their Office Would Be Appropriate–Makes It More Convenient for Them and They Don’t Waste Time Traveling Somewhere, Do an Option Close on the Appointment and Ask, “Would it make sense to book an appointment now or would you like me to e-mail you?”–Again They Usually Make a Quick Decision When You Do an Option Close, Based on the Answer Complete That Task, See If an E-mail or Text Is the Preferable Way for You to Confirm the Appointment, Show Up Early to the Appointment and Be Fully Prepared With an Agenda and Lots of Questions for Them

If you pay careful attention to the behavioral characteristics your customers and fellow networkers exhibit, you’ll get better and better at pinpointing which of the four behavioral style categories they fall into and you will be much more capable of communicating with them effectively by speaking their language and adapting to their style.  When you’re able to communicate at the highest level of effectiveness with your customers and those with whom you network, your sales will increase and your business will grow.

After reading through the lists of behavior characteristics above, start by pinpointing which style you are and if you have any additional ideas about how to effectively communicate and connect with others that share your same behavioral style, please share your suggestions in the comment forum below–I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

The 3 Networks You Need to Join If You Haven’t Already

In the book Room Full of Referrals (click here for the paperback edition and click here for the Kindle edition) which I wrote with Tony Alessandra and Dawn Lyons, we talk about the Top Ten Referral Marketing Basics and number one is:

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Belong to Three Different Networks

  • A Service Network like the Rotary Club, for example.  Service clubs are devised for just that, to provide service to an organization.  Your main reason for joining a service clubwould not be to gain business.  Most people truly believe in what the organization is doing and have a passion for it.  While your main goal is to serve the community or organization, you will also be building relationships and, yes, business may come to  you through this group.  However, it should not be your main reason for joining.
  • A Casual Contact Network, like a Chamber of Commerce.  Casual networks provide a way for you to meet a larger amount of people at one time.  There are less restrictions with this group, and they mainly do large mixers.  A key benefit to the casual contact networks is that you can meet people who would be good referrals for your referral sources.  Having a large sphere of influence is important in your being able to give lots of referrals on a regular basis.
  • A Strong Contact Network, like BNI. Strong contact networks like BNI provide exclusivity.  For example, only one person per profession is allowed to be part of the group.  They also incorporate more structure and commitment from their members, which in turn greatly increases the amount of loyalty and participation.  These groups are designed to gain referral business.  The key is to only belong to one of these types of groups to ensure follow-through, commitment and loyalty.

When you create a strong referral network, you’ll want to be able to give lots of referrals to them as well.  You’ll need a wide sphere of influence within which you have substantial credibility, so as they need things in their life, you can refer them.  It’s as Referral Institute® Partner Mike Macedonio states in the book:

“It is not just the breadth of the relationships that you have, it’s the breadth and depth of the relationships that are the most important.”

Being involved in three different networks will give you breadth–all you have to do is create the depth! 

What are you going to do this week to expand your networking involvement to include all three networks and to deepen your relationships?  Please share your thoughts in the comment forum.

Lollipop Entrepreneur

Understanding your behavioral style and how it relates to your networking is extremely valuable.  Most importantly, learning how to identify behavioral styles in others and learning how to adapt your own approach to those different styles can really make a difference in your referability.

Often times your behavioral style can be observed at a fairly young age.  When I was 11 years old, I missed the bus to school one day. The school was only a little over two miles away and I had time, so I started walking.

Along the way I passed a gas station that had a small store attached to it. My eye caught some awesome looking lollipops – big, red, strawberry-flavored suckers. They only cost a nickel so I bought four or five of them and headed on to school. A friend saw what I had and asked if he could buy one. I said sure – for a dime. He bought it right away! That day I sold all the lollipops except the one I kept for myself . . . and I saw a great business opportunity.

The next day I walked to school again, this time buying a dozen lollipops. I sold them all before school let out for the day. I did this the next day, and the next . . . for almost a month, very happy with my margin and the money that I was starting to see growing from my lollipop enterprise.

That was my first experience in business, and it was obvious from that early time in my life that I was a “Go-Getter” behavioral style.  I am pleased to share with you that I have just released a new book with co-authors Tony Alessandra (one of the world’s leading experts on behavioral profiles) and Dawn Lyons (probably the world’s leading expert on how behavioral profiles relate to referral marketing).

How has your behavioral approach to networking and referral marketing helped or hurt your efforts.   I’d love to hear your story.

For more information on the newly-released book I mention above, please go to one of the links below.

Room Full of Referrals – Digital Version

Room Full of Referrals – Soft Cover Version

 

OMG, I’m an Introvert!?

OK, if you don’t know what “OMG” means, ask a teenager (that’s how I learned what it meant).  Now let’s talk about the introvert thing.

My wife and I were having a relaxing dinner one night recently.  We were sitting around the kitchen table talking when I made some off-handed comment about being an extrovert (it fit into the context of the conversation).  She looked over at me and said, “Uhh, honey, I hate to break it to you, but you’re an introvert.”  I smiled and said, “Yeah, sure, I’m an introvert (insert laugh track here).”   She then looked at me quite earnestly and said, “No, really you’re an introvert.”  I protested strongly.  I said, “Come on, I’m a public speaker and founder of the world’s largest networking organization–I’m not an introvert!  I can’t be.  I mean, you’re joking, right?”  She absolutely insisted that I was an introvert and proceeded to share with me all the ways that I have introverted tendencies.  Well, I have to admit I was taken back by this.  All the examples she gave were true, but I still couldn’t believe I am an introvert.  On the other hand, we’ve been married for 20 years. I mean, there’s a chance she might actually know me pretty well.

So off I went the next day to do some research.  I did an internet search and found a test that tells you whether you are an introvert or extrovert.  Was I in for a shock.  The test said that I was a “situational extrovert!”  It explained that I was something of a loner who was reserved around strangers but very outgoing in the right context.  It was at that moment that I said, “OMG, I’m an introvert!?” 

In the haze of my surprise, some very important things came into clarity for me.  It struck me why I started the BNI networking organization more than two decades ago.  I was naturally uncomfortable meeting new people. This approach created a “system” that enabled me to meet people in an organized, structured, networking environment that did not require that I actually “talk to strangers.”  OMG, I’m an introvert!

When I visit regions of BNI, I ask my director to have someone walk me around and introduce me to visitors and members so that I can connect with as many people as possible.  But in reality, it’s because I’m uncomfortable walking around introducing myself alone.  OMG, I’m an introvert!

I realized that the whole notion of “acting like the host, not the guest” and volunteering to be the ambassador at a chamber event or the visitor host at a BNI group were all the ways I used to move around more comfortably at networking events, not just ways that I recommended for those poor introverts out there to network.  OMG, I am an introvert.

Who would have thought? Well, OK, besides my lovely wife.  Now more than ever, I truly believe that whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, you can be good at networking.  Both have strengths and weaknesses.  If you can find ways to enhance your strengths and minimize your weaknesses, anyone can be a great networker.

How about you?  Are you an introvert or an extrovert, and how do you use that in your networking?

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