I attend a lot of networking events and I’m always fascinated by how people conduct themselves.

Some are relaxed and engaging. Others are shy and reserved. And then there are those who are oblivious. When you stop and think about it, the relaxed and engaging are usually the most successful; not only at making connections but in business overall.

The shy and reserved do okay, as long as someone approaches them. They are good listeners so people like them.

The oblivious on the other hand have it all wrong. These are the people who talk constantly – about their business, about their family, about themselves. And if someone else tries to talk about something they get antsy waiting for their chance to regain control. They talk endlessly so it’s not even a conversation; it’s a monologue. They have no idea they are annoying and boring.

If asked, all of these types of people will tell you the same thing about why they network – to make connections and grow their businesses. They are all on the same mission. They just behave very differently. I submit that you are best served in your business building mission if you behave a certain way when networking.

Embark on your mission this way:

1. Seek to learn:

Networking is about relationship building, not selling.

In order to identify who you should be interacting with and potentially selling to, you have to get to know people. So decide you are going to listen instead of talk. This way you’ll get to learn about who the other people are.

2. Follow up intentionally:

Once you’ve met some people who you like and who resonate with you, follow up with them.

Continue building the relationship for its own sake. Don’t focus on what it may bring you. Just build the relationship. The results will show up on their own.

3. Be a helper:

Discover how you can help them and do it.
Once of the best ways to gain trust and confidence is to focus on the other person and help them when you can.

Remember that growing a business takes time.

Developing relationships takes time.

You have to be in it for the long haul in order to do it successfully. We’re all on a mission to grow our businesses. When you shift your focus away from yourself and on to other people you plan the seeds of future success.