Networking Guardian Angel, Will Kintish has distilled his years of networking wisdom into a “One Minute Manager” style book which demonstrates how to network.
The book uses Brian, a stumbling, fumbling nervous networker and shows how he progresses with coaching from the author, Will Kintish.
The book begins with Brian receiving an invitation to a networking event. He’s just about to ditch it, when the disembodied voice of Networking Guardian Angel Will Kintish says simply, “Hi Brian. Please stop before you throw that invitation in the bin.”
Eventually Brian agrees to go the meeting. Will explains the importance of preparation and planning beforehand and gives a 20 point list to Brian to help him prepare. It includes vital items, like “remember your business cards”, “check the dress code” and possibly the most important, plan a short response to the inevitable question, “what do you do?”
Will notes the answer to what do you do is not your role, it’s how you help your customers.
Later Brian is supported, knees quaking, in the networking event or, as Will calls them, “business-related event.” He cheerfully reminds his quaking charge that 99% of people feel worried by business events.
Will gives Brian a list of the major fears and concerns raised by people who network.
When they arrive they discover the room’s full and Will says if Brian arrived earlier rather than seeing 100 people he would see 5. Which has to make anyone less anxious!
Will describes the 6 types of networking groupings, how they stand and whether they’re approachable.
Brian receives a step by step explanation on approaching the singleton, a way to remember their name and helpfully is told “what to talk about.”
Later Brian reports back that they had a good conversation but neither knew how to end it without upsetting the other. This comes from the fear of rejection. Will explains rejection is one major reason people hate networking. Fortunately Will provides several strategies for moving on without causing offence.
One networking nightmare is when someone is rude to you even though you’ve done nothing wrong. Again, Will to the rescue with strategies for Brian to deal with it.
He also provides ways of working within groups and helps show how to play host in the group so that people aren’t uncomfortable, and don’t feel left out.
Will explains how to ask pertinent and open questions when Brian speaks to people.
He also talks about the importance of building relationships and looking for the AHA moment where Brian may discover where he can help the person he’s talking to.
As our relationship with Brian grows Will introduces the networking criminal, explaining that Brian is one if he doesn’t follow-up as he promised. Will also provides a number of scripts for Brian to use as a base to talk to people afterwards.
If you go networking and haven’t attended one of Will’s courses this book will immediately improve your networking skills.