1. Leave 5-star Reviews
It is really difficult to get people to leave you a 5-star review, right? When was the last time you left a 5-star review for someone else? Power networkers know they should never expect to get things from people they aren't willing to give. If you are networking with someone you really believe in or if you have done business with a company that did an exceptional job for you, get on Google and get on Facebook, Linked In, or Alignable and let them know you appreciate their dependability, quality product, or service. It is the least we can do for others!
2. Meet People for Real Lunch and Real Coffee
What is "real" lunch or coffee? It's where you sit down and have an authentic time with someone in your community or network face to face. Leave your "covert" sales tactics back at the office and be genuine in your desire to learn about them.
There are only two approaches when it comes to casual networking meetings like this. Which one are you doing? The first one is you put yourself first. You use it as your opportunity to talk only about you and what you do, your knowledge, your business and how it is such a wonderful opportunity for them. The more you do so, the less interested they become. Out of courtesy, they may not show it, but they couldn't care less. The second approach is to make yourself second. You put them first and ask questions about their journey, how they got started in what they do, what are they passionate about, and what do they do for fun. Strangely, they walk away feeling you are the greatest person in the world, even if they never asked a single question of you.
Whether you choose to do it once a week or once a month, reach out to someone and get to know them better. If you've ever told someone, "We should do lunch sometime" then you know who you should call first!
3. Répondez S'il Vous Plaît
RSVP literally translates from French to "Please Reply" or "Response Needed." In our culture, it is used most often to find out if someone needs to make accommodation for Y-O-U. Our culture has developed a very, very bad habit of failing to respond, yet still showing up and believing they have the right to be offended when there isn't room or enough food for them. Don't be that person! People notice, more accurately, I mean they are annoyed. Someone took the trouble to send you a thoughtful invitation. RSVP'ing is an effortless habit that outshines everyone else today.
4. Handwritten Cards
The last time you received a handwritten note in the mail, remember how you felt? Is it not remarkable that you probably remember who it was from? It is rare, it is special, and it took effort which made it notable to you. How would people in your network feel to know you care or that you thought of them? Find a reason to send cards, whether as thank yous, Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, or congratulations on a notable achievement or milestone. If there isn't a seasonal reason, make something up, find something obscure or funny, choose a strange national day of celebration, or send a silly message to their cat or dog. People love it and amazing opportunities will come of it.
5. Show you are Paying Attention on the Social Networks
"Likes" are so 2010. Nobody cares anymore if you clicked "Like" and nobody goes back to see who clicked "Like." When someone in your social network has a life moment, an achievement, or a milestone, write a 1-2 sentence note that shows you are paying attention and care enough to say something. Did you know this exposes them to people in your network? They will be more likely to make a comment on one of your notable posts, and guess what!? You will be exposed to people in their network! See how that works?
6. Mankind is your Business
You have a social responsibility to get out and serve. People notice how much you really care. If your community or network has been good to you, it is your obligation to give back. It can be through your church, civic clubs, local Kiwanis, or wherever you see a need to be filled. Just get out there and do self-sacrificing, unselfish, underappreciated, seldom recognized service in your community!
...And don't post selfies about how good you are at public service.
7. Don't Suck at Social Media
Maybe a better way to say it is, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." Add value on social media, real value. Build others up. Converse kindly. Don't write things you know will goad people. Stop making politically charged comments. Stop responding to angry, irrational comments. Never say anything you wouldn't want to be committed to writing for all to see. Delete dissension on your posts and delete the whole post if the dissension is your own.
8. Respond to Every Communication
Yes, respond to EVERY email, EVERY call, and EVERY social media message. I'm not saying every point of contact demands an immediate response, but every real person who took the time to contact you does deserve a response at some point. You can decide if it is a high priority or lower priority, but failing to respond is never an option. Nothing screams "I don't care" louder than no reply.
9. Say What You Do, Do What You Say
So many networkers think it is good or polite to say "yes" or be agreeable, but later never follow through. People feel saying "no" could be perceived as rude, but lack of follow-through is far more dangerous to your credibility. Get comfortable with saying "no" to the things that are wrong for you or that are in the wrong time for you. Be careful to keep your commitments, because something you thought was no big deal might be a big deal to someone else left in a lurch. Have you overcommitted? Call someone now with a sincere apology and reset their expectations about what you can and can't do.
10. Display a Headshot that Shows You are the Real Deal
Some people are on the fence if a headshot is really all that helpful and I get it. It's hard to connect the dots from photo to direct sales results. However, let me put it this way...would you buy from someone with poor presentation? How about someone who wants you to invest in them yet doesn't invest in themselves? Someone who does not look serious about what they do? Nope, every time!! Your prospects are connecting dots of their own, so stop and think what that could mean for you.
Why are these habits important for 2019? Because you will never know about lost sales opportunities in 2018 due to bad habits and poor form. The only thing you can do is move forward and fix the little leaks in your personal boat, your brand. Tiny little habits are like compound interest. A little improvement at a time yields great results over time.