Networking is a mindset. That’s right. I said it. Networking is a mindset. And there are technically two types of mindsets that will have an impact on a networker — transactional and relationship driven.
The Transactional Approach to Networking
For many people, it’s a transactional mindset, with the only goal of meeting someone, identifying a problem this person may have and then trying to sell this person or business on the solution you offer.
While the last two pieces of that process are necessary and important to the life of your business, there are other valuable steps beforehand that must be taken first — especially in a networking environment. When someone goes right in for the kill, it’s like asking someone to marry you without even having the first date yet.
Over many years of networking, I’ve witnessed countless salespeople make a new connection and within thirty seconds go in for the kill, explaining to their new fellow networker just how their gizmo or widget is revolutionary and why no one should live without it.
Or, there’s the salesperson who goes on and on about how the commodity service they offer is unlike anybody else’s and how anyone who doesn’t buy in now is going to miss out on great opportunities. Then, there’s the multilevel health product person that guarantees you’ll live a longer, happier life when you take his products versus living a shorter, unhappier life if you don’t purchase and take his products.
The Relationship Mindset in Networking
In each of these cases, the person in the sales position isn’t focusing on the number one, most important element to networking — relationship building.
When you attend a networking event, or when you’ve been referred to a new connection, it’s always best to take a breath, intentionally see this new person who is standing in front of you and commit to learning about them first. Think about it as a new developing relationship — and not in a way that you’re only learning about their pain and or problem while preparing for the kill.
Instead, learn about them in a way that you can identify opportunities to connect them with people who could use your new friends’ products or services. Learn about their business. Their background.
Ask questions like:
- How did you get to where you are today?
- Who would be the best referrals for you?
- What would be the best way to make an introduction to you?
Rather than having a transactional mindset, we want to have a relationship mindset. I understand that developing relationships takes time. It also takes energy and emotional maturity.
However, the strength in a relationship will determine when that prospect becomes a client who purchases from you for years and years, while also telling all her friends and family about you. Or — quite the opposite —ifyour prospect never purchases from you. The key difference is a relationship mindset.
Networking Mindset and the Six Human Needs
Mindset is closely tied our primary human needs. Through training, I’ve learned every human has six basic needs — certainty, uncertainty, significance, connection, growth, and contribution. Every person alive experiences these needs in some form or fashion. A quick run through the “6 Human Needs Test” reveals my top need is connection. Luckily for me, that makes having a relationship mindset easier.
But what about the person whose top need is certainty? That’s somebody who isn’t usually a risk taker and who likes to know ahead of time how things will turn out. Someone whose top need is certainty is also very security focused and doesn’t prioritize taking time to develop relationships.
Sales becomes wholly a numbers game — meet as many people as possible to get as many “NOs” as possible so as to get to the “YESs” as quickly as possible. For someone whose primary need is certainty, developing a relationship is the last thing on their mind.
I’ve performed sales both ways. Early in my career, chasing certainty and performing sales with a transactional mindset was exhausting. Every day felt like a sprint. How many new people could I contact to make my offer to hear NO? It would have to be a big number because I know every NO brings me closer to YES.
The Benefits of a Relationship Mindset
Thankfully, as I’ve grown through the years (my 2nd highest need is growth), I’ve changed my mindset and my strategy, focusing more on the relationship than the transaction. As a result, growing my business has been far more enjoyable for me.
Each person I engage with, interact with, and truly get to know now has the potential not only to become a client, but also to make other referrals to me for years to come. And, based on their business, I can also refer business to them for years to come. It’s an absolute win – win!
Incorporating understanding of the six human needs into my personal life and my business has created enormous positive changes I never would have imagined. Using this tool has helped me see what I’m doing well, where I can use improvement, and what I need to change all together.
Let me ask you… of the six human needs — certainty, uncertainty, significance, connection, growth, and contribution, which do you believe are your top two? And what impact are they having on your business and personal life?
If you’d like to schedule a call to explore and learn more about the six human needs, feel free to use my online scheduler to find a time for us to chat. https://joenovara.youcanbook.me/