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MERIDITH ELLIOT POWELL

Then if you were ever lucky enough to take a class on networking, some well meaning business trainer told you he had the “secret” to how to network, He then proceeded to teach you “networking skills” that felt pushy and awkward. Techniques like “repeat a person’s name three times,” “pass out business cards like a blackjack dealer”, and my personal favorite, the thirty-second elevator speech. Uncomfortable yes – effective no! But see, there is a secret – something that those that love to network know – and that secret is that networking when it is done right, how to do it just comes naturally. And when we network according to our natural instincts networking is fun, it is easy and it is effective…

3 Strategies To Natural Networking First – Learn To Serve. Take the stress out of networking by approaching any event with the attitude of being there simply to serve others. Enter any event or room with the mindset of giving rather than taking. To network naturally, we need to first build relationships and establish trust, and we do that when we first learn to serve. Networking is about investing in others before we even think about asking them to invest in us. Step 2 – Engage People always tell me they don’t like to network, because they do not know what to say, what to share about themselves. Well do I have good news for you, networking is not about you. To network naturally you need to engage other people in conversations first, learn about them. You already know all about you right? So what is the point of talking about yourself. I mean, you said it makes you nervous, and let me tell you that I can guarantee it bores the person you are talking to. People love to talk about themselves, and when we engage others When we

ask people questions, it not only takes the pressure off of what you need to say about yourself, but it puts the focus on other people. Putting the focus on them endears them to you, because again they love to talk about themselves. In addition, you find out great information about how you develop the relationship, introduce them to others or find a way to work together. Step 3 – Expand First, congratulations! Just by doing the first two steps you have truly mastered being a natural networker. So this last step is just icing on the cake! To truly reap the rewards from your networking efforts you need to expand your network. In other words, one networking event does not a relationship make. If you meet or connect with someone, and you think there is potential there, take the next step. Do not wait on them to call for coffee, lunch or to set up the meeting – you do it! Believe me, you have done the hard part. The difficult task of making the connection, and pushing out of your comfort zone. With the introduction made, the relationship started, why would you drop the ball now? So there you have it; that is all there is to it! Follow these easy, fun and effective steps and watch as your transform into not only a natural networker but a true master in the art! Motivational Keynote Speaker & Business Growth Expert, Meridith Elliott Powell works with clients to help them instill ownership at every level to ensure profits at every turn. Meridith is the author of several books, including her latest, Own It: Redefining Responsibility: Stories of Power, Freedom & Purpose. An innovative and revolutionary approach to mastering the challenges of employee engagement. When not keynoting and leading workshops, she looks for inspiration cycling, golfing or hiking her favorite trail.

k http://www.meridithelliottpowell.com ENTREPRENEUR PLATFORM MAGAZINE | 21

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