Networking with the Powerful
Business networking opportunities abound and while the most seasoned network-er navigates the room easily, many a stalwart falter when it comes to approaching a powerful person in the room. A strange nervousness comes over them and they float around without making a contact. At times they may make it to the fringe of the group surrounding the celebrity but continue their insignificant presence tongue-tied.
There may be many reasons why people get nervous networking with higher-ups, and a common reason is a feeling of worthlessness. When compared to the status of the powerful person, they may think they are lower in the social ladder or professional caliber. They may even be intimidated by the other people surrounding this person and may find themselves out-of-league. But there is a way to overcome this low-esteem, fear, and nervousness.
I share with you a few tips that may help to network with the powerful.
Do your homework
Come prepared with some research on the person that you plan to meet. Thanks to Google, and social media, there is a lot of information that can help you familiarize and let you know this person intimately even before the meeting.
You may come across shared interests that could be an ice-breaker and you can directly bring that up in your very first words to establish an emotional connect. Remember, the person is another human being and may share common interests in terms of industry, community, habits, and
Express Gratitude & Recognition
Even the most accomplished person will welcome heartfelt gratitude and honest appreciation. You don’t have to sound like a sycophant, but expressing your gratitude for their contribution to society, business, the industry will spring up a smile and make you more comfortable. It is important that your voice maintains sincerity because the mighty are aware of false flattery and can see through it most of the time.
Find a Higher Purpose
Many times when networking, you may find your act selfish and may cause low-esteem. This, in turn, makes you feel little in front of them, and which reflects in your body language. Instead, motivate yourself to a higher purpose. Look upon the opportunity to network with the powerful, as benefiting your company. See it as an opportunity of doing something bigger, and suddenly you will find yourself standing like an equal.
Allay their anxiety
You may be surprised to know that a powerful person may also have the anxiety of meeting new people, and may try to avoid such meetings lest they are asked for favors or commitments. It is important that you allay their fear, in your very first few words. Your body language, your smile, and your sincere voice must collectively project that you are not going to make them uncomfortable with a request. Asking for a selfie is the most you should request.
No Business Card
Do not ask for their business card, if they do not offer you one in return. It is important that you make a very positive impression that they can recall in your follow-up conversation or message. Remember, that you will have to work to build a relationship progressively if you want to explore mutually beneficial future opportunities. Don’t make them feel that getting their card was the sole purpose of meeting them.
I hope these tips help you network with ease with the movers & shakers. I would love to hear your feedback on my tips and also welcome your tips on how you interact with the powerful.