People say “Money makes the world go round.” Karl Lund, VP of Sales with CAM Printing Inc., thinks more along the line of “People make the world go round.”
“There’s no such thing…” he says, “as money.” In his years at CAM Printing Inc. Lund has had so much on his plate it would make most people’s head spin. How he manages photography, his position as VP of Sales, and being a large contributor to the enrichment of his community through charity events, Lund has had one major contributor to his activity. Networking. Networking the right way, is key to success in life, business, and most importantly creating lasting relationships with people. Here are a few simple tips for getting the most out of any networking opportunity.
1.) It’s all about the mindset.
Before you even attend these events with persons you have interest in talking with, you have to start out right. Having the right mindset entering these situations is key to success in networking. Lund says “When I network with people I always focus on what I can do to add value to their business.” Lund sets his mindset into a priority opposite of most others: People first, money is a byproduct. Go in with the mindset of “I am going to help you” rather than “I want you to help me!” and you will see better results in your networking endeavors.
2.) Start somewhere.
It does you no good to sit in the back, or stand along the side and spectate wishing and hoping someone approaches you. You have to go into that room, and be proactive, not aggressive, but ready and willing to engage in conversation with others you don’t know. Keep in mind to have the mindset you are there to listen to others and offer them solutions you have, not selling or asking for their business. Regardless, pick one person and begin.
3.) Talk to everyone.
Don’t set your gaze on the powerhouses of the room, the emcee, or the person of honor to dedicate your time soliciting attention. Instead, speak to as many people as you can adding value to everyone’s night. You never know, the guy in the back corner not socializing may just be your next mentor, friend, business partner, or so on. “Whether you have a mansion or a mom n’ pop shop. I am going to introduce myself to you.” says Lund. Everyone will add to your life and you should aim to add as much as you can to everyone else’s, by talking with them and offering your support to their journey.
4.) Follow up.
Chances are that person you engaged with and generated wholesome value with also met a dozen or so others who also made an impact. To combat this and increase your odds of continuing your relationship building you need to follow up afterwards. However, there’s a kink. Most others are going to follow up with this person, you need to stand out. Remember, when emailing don’t be cliché. Be exciting. Send content their way that may serve a purpose, keep contributing to their success. In addition, make sure you include a headshot in your signature line. Help them place a face with a name.
5.) Remember: You’re better than no one and no one is better than you.
This is another mindset for you to adapt while you are at the event or wherever you network. The big banker has his value, the lonely entrepreneur has his, and you have yours. Believe it or not, all are equal. Some people contribute value in a financial respect, some in introductions to others, some just have certain expertise that they exercise. Everyone has something to contribute that is worth time and money, make sure you share yours and listen to theirs and be genuine. Having this mindset will give you the confidence to talk to anyone and everyone and soon you will realize as Lund did that “Money is a byproduct of adding value to their brand or financial bottom line. It’s never the driving force behind wanting to network with someone.”
When you go to your next networking occasion, remember these few tips and see how you rise to the top through being genuine and truly caring about the people you are associating with, not just digging for resources. “I would high five the kid’s and show complete respect to the adults regardless of their skin color or income tax bracket.” states Lund, “I was poor growing up. Money had no impact on my life because I grew up without it.” True words to live by, relationships created through value rather than money are stronger, more beneficial, and provide genuine friendship the longer you add to them.
Brandon Banks, a serial entrepreneur began his entrepreneurial adventure at a young age and currently travels to educate students on the possibility of seizing the day and moving toward their dreams of being their own boss. Together in collaboration with his network Banks disrupts common traditional barriers and exposes that through proper support anyone can be an entrepreneur regardless of where they are at in life.