I was coaching a client the other day about his networking and growing his referral network. He was concerned about being memorable when he introduced himself while networking. Introductions to use while networking, or just meeting people in general, is one of the things I do help people with. On this occasion, because he was a new client and we had a lot of foundational work still to do before we got to the part about having powerful introductions, I actually went another route.
Yes, an impactful introduction is powerful. But a well-built relationship will get you much further than just a well-crafted message. When it comes to building a strong referral based business, relationships are the essence and the foundational philosophy. If all you have is your well-crafted introduction, then what?
Ivan Misner says, “A great networker has two ears and one mouth and uses them proportionally.” This is great advice, especially for the novice networker. Don’t know what to say? Ask an open-ended question and then LISTEN.
Maya Angelou said, “… people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”
My advice to my client was to be interested in the person he was meeting. Ask great questions and really learn about the person: what they do, where they’re from, what their hobbies are. Find out if that person seems referable – are they an expert, a great business connection, an influential member of the community. Find out what is important to that person. When we are interested in others, we become interesting. And we make a far bigger impact on that person than just an interesting introduction.
When we listen to what matters to other people and we find ways to help, support, and connect with them, that’s when we become memorable.