What’s your Objective?
Your objective in meeting with people at the Hub is to find those people who are keen to build their networks.
That is, people who understand the way we build networks and are excited about it.
When you are keen to build quickly, your goal is to bring 2 new people on average to the Hub every week.
Which means you can choose the ones you want to work with.
When you bring enough people, you don’t feel obliged to work with the uninterested or unwilling.
New best friends
If you are spending the time to rapidly build your network and achieve tangible results
Then you are looking to build relationships with network building partners rather than just socialising or acquiring new “best friends” who have little interest in building their networks.
Use your time at the Hub wisely
As you gather momentum, you will find you get busy at the Hub.
And you really do want to make the best use of your time before, during and after the Hub.
Typically you will be inviting people to meet you at the Hub venue about 15 minutes before the Hub starts.
That doesn’t give you much time with them (especially when you have several people arriving together)
The reasons you invite people only 15 minutes prior to the start of the Hub are:
- Prior to meeting new people, you are busy meeting with people who came to the Hub in prior weeks and are considering their next steps
- You want your guests to have the benefit of listening to the MC & speakers and experience the meeting before saying a lot yourself
- Limiting the time to 15 minutes means your guests will understand why you are directing the conversation rather than asking them questions (at this stage)
Avoid your natural inclination
When you meet a stranger for the first time, you would normally build rapport by asking them questions about themselves such as:
Tell me about your job, your family, your interests, etc.
However, if you go down this path, the 15 minutes you have prior to the start of the Hub will evaporate leaving no time to orient your guests as to what this is all about.
There is plenty of time to build a relationship with those who want to build their networks.
This means you need to be deliberate not only in what you say and how you say it.
It is critical that we do our best to help new people understand what is on offer and set up the next step with those that are interested.
YOUR FIRST MEETING AT THE HUB
It’s worth being results-oriented at the Hub
The best results when you are well prepared about what to say and you are deliberate about painting the right verbal picture.
So it is worth committing to memory what you are going to say to the new guests you meet at the Hub.
‘Learn your lines’ so that your words will flow easily and you won’t miss anything.
Even before their first Hub attendance, set up the meeting well by sending them a calendar invite and the website for them to look at (www.connectcollaborative.net).
This will help you to shift their paradigms and understand why they are meeting you and some of your contacts rather than attending an event.
Be sure to follow them up with a quick message on the day letting them know you are looking forward to meeting them.
In this message suggest they ask the person at the registration desk to point you out as there may be quite a few other people attending
Your expectation is to bring at least 2 potentially good candidates to every Hub meeting so you have plenty of options of candidates that are a pleasure to work with.
It’s important to know that a good portion of your guests won’t be good NBS candidates at the moment (although their timing may change so it may be worth keeping in touch).
Also, remember, It only takes a few active NBS builders each year to build a huge network.
The work is in finding your way through the masses to identify good candidates whose timing is right.
Some points to remember:
- Give the right messages
- Let the atmosphere do its work
- Your objective is to set an appointment to catch up for 15 minutes (ideally just prior to the next Hub) to explore how important network building is to them.
- When they agree, send them a calendar invite and a link to Video-1
- It’s all about the next step!
- Most people will initially be impressed but then realise commitment is required to get great results
- Who knew?
- The main thing is for us to make sure people see that the potential result is large enough to more than outweigh the small amount of time they will need to invest – and if not this then what?
- Without a great network, what does the future hold for most people?
Set a clear expectation with your first conversation
The reason to meet people at the Hub is to ultimately find people who ‘get it’ / want it / are curious-to-know-more and expect to build your relationship with them while you are taking them through your process; the right people will follow people who confidently guide them.
So it pays to be prepared, and deliberate about your next steps and conversations.
When you learn your lines, it is so much easier.
At the same time, remember people follow people with passion and enthusiasm.
“The music you play is as important as the words you say”.
Relax, smile, enjoy, help create the buzz in the room, be uplifting – the kind of person you’d like to be around.
Don’t expect to acquire new ‘best friends’ and hope they will then want to build a network.
Start on the right foot and be clear about what and who you are looking for.
At the same time, it is always important to leave a good taste in the mouth of those that are not yet interested in proceeding further.
It is possible to combine posture (looking for those who want what we have) with good people skills.
Remember we all want to create the best possible image for the Connect Collaborative as a whole – especially for those who aren’t ready to engage further at the moment.
Are you clear about how to explain what’s on offer?
When we are presented with new ideas, most of us miss the point because we can’t relate a new unproven idea to anything we have already experienced.
If Facebook didn’t exist and I tried to describe the idea to you, would you predict it would become a massive success?
How about Uber?
What about the telephone when it was first invented?
The Hub and Connect Collaborative is not a better way of networking.
How we build our networks is an entirely different way of creating connection and long term opportunity through collaboration and advocacy – it is unique!
Keeping Track of the people you have invited
As you start meeting large numbers of people, it’s important you have a process to keep track of people.
As soon as you send someone a calendar invite, make sure you enter them in the Work In Progress tab of your Activity sheet and learn to use the filters in that tab.
This will enable you to get help and perspective from your coach and make the most of your time and energy – spending time with people you are excited about building your network with.
A Good Idea – especially when you are new
Send your coach (and relevant others) a link to the profile of each guest who has accepted your invitation to attend the next Hub.
Let your guest know who you have lined up to meet them. It’s an impressive “proof of concept”!
When you introduce them to your coach (and relevant others), they will feel great when they realise your coach has taken the time to look at their profile and thought about who may be good contacts for them.
The more people you meet, the more you understand they will fall into various categories.
Some will need time to mull it over before they make a commitment – don’t get too frustrated with them!
Everyone has their own time, so keep moving and meet more people as you help them to get a better vision for their own network.
Others will turn out to be time-wasters, and if you keep moving, they will quickly disappear into the background.
Others will be immediately excited!
However, some of these people may be excited about the wrong things or have a habit of getting briefly excited about many things.
Some may tick all the boxes, with a great attitude, want to know more and you really want to discuss next steps but they or you are out of town – think about how can you stay in touch, what links can you send them?
Coaching is Critical
Make the most of, and respect the time your coach is investing in your partnership
(As you will want those you are coaching to do)
Be clear about in whom to invest your time
A network consists of a variety of people.
Having the desire to make people feel valued (even the difficult ones) or at least leaving them with a “good taste in their mouth” as you wave them goodbye is important.
The end goal is a have a huge network and only takes a few others committed to the same goal.
The right ones are a pleasure to work with and you form great long-term relationships with them.
The wrong people; the people you aren’t aligned with, will eventually fade into the background.
And hopefully they will do so thinking you, and the Connect Collaborative are great.
SOME TIPS ON YOUR FIRST CONVERSATIONS
What messages do you want to give?
The future of the people you bring along to the Hub may depend on you getting good at this.
The great news is that this is something you can learn to get good at and it is very worthwhile getting good at it – not just for your own sake.
The ultimate goal for all of your conversations is to cast a vision for your attendees about the value of a strong network and the possibilities for them which will be created by them using a systemised approach to building it.
Below are some short snippets that you can memorise to help keep your conversation on point.
As you meet more and more people and have more and more deliberate conversations the better you will get.
Remember, it’s not just the words you say, it’s also the music you play.
- Hi, Peter, Fred & John, great to meet you all. We only have a few minutes before the meeting starts.
The reason I invited you so close to the start of the meeting is that I wanted you to have a chance to listen to what the MC and the other speakers and then introduce to some others in the room who I think may be good contacts for you.
- If you like what you see, I’ll send you a video and we can organise a time to catch up one-on-one prior to the meeting next week and get to know you better then.
Note: While we are all relying on the MC and the speakers to paint a bigger picture for your guests about building their network, it is vitally important that YOU deliberately add to the positive atmosphere regardless of how you may be feeling. The great atmosphere is a collaboration!
- The main thing is to listen to what the MC has to say about the difference between networking and network building.
- Although we always have a great speaker, the main purpose of this Hub is to meet new people and build relationships with those you meet here regularly’.
- We see this meeting as our ‘Coffee Alternative’; a way to make the most of our time and energy
- When you think about it, I met the 3 of you on LinkedIn and invited you directly here.
- The traditional alternative to that would have been to organise a coffee with each one of you.
- And we have to ask ourselves, how much time would that have taken and what is the typical result of a coffee meeting?
- Hard to build a relationship with just one coffee isn’t it?
- I’m keen to build relationships, and partner with people I can meet regularly here.
- That makes it easier to introduce you to others who may be great contacts for you and we can build a long-term relationship in the process
- When we have a bit more time, one of the things I’m keen to do is to explain to you some of the really great results that have already come for many of the people in the room.” (Whet their appetite to want to hear more)
Time permitting, progressively paint more of the picture as follows (or do more of this at the end of the Hub or at a subsequent one-on-one)
- When you think about it, we have an incredible opportunity, don’t we?
- Everyone has been told that social media is vitally important for both business and careers
- However, that is only one half of the story, isn’t it?
- People can have thousands of online connections but if they don’t make them live, they rarely go anywhere – do they?
- [Watch their heads nod in strong agreement]
- So how do people make their online relationships live?
- As we know, it’s an expensive waste of time trying to meet people 1-on-1 for a coffee
- Instead, we use a systemised approach which makes it easy to invite multiple people to meet us here each week
- Which means, for example, I can each easily have well in excess of 100 people attend this Hub in a year purely by meeting them on LinkedIn and inviting them to meet me (and others) here rather than meeting for the traditional coffee
- And it feels good to know, how much we are helping people on LinkedIn – many of them want to expand their networks but they just don’t know how!
- Let’s say only 10% of the people I bring here decide to commit a small amount of ‘fingers to keyboard time’ to bring people here following the same system we use
- In the first year, I would have 10 people doing what I am doing
- And in their first year, each of those 10 would each have 10 people actively putting their fingers to keyboard
- It’s easy to see how that grows exponentially – which is why this Hub is growing so well.
- Having a large number of Know Like & Trust relationships allows us to have a very effective culture of Advocacy
- Having a culture where you are not the one always doing the giving – having a culture where everyone is expected to contribute, means that everyone benefits.
- Then it’s possible to generate results which are way beyond most people’s imaginations
- Do we have examples of such results?
- We sure do – even though we have only been going for a relatively short time.
- Let me give you a few quick examples…….
Examples are a great way to help them start seeing a bigger picture or shift their paradigms
- Many people come into an environment like this because they have been told they need to enhance what they are currently doing.
- In other words, they are advised to go build a network to help their careers or gain more business.
- To pick some small examples, let’s say someone comes into the room to support their personal training/coaching/resume writing business.
- [Notice here you are not talking about them – you are talking about others they may know]
- If they do more than just casually network – if they are consistent each Monday and put in only a small amount of fingers to keyboard – they will soon build a huge network which has the potential to do far more than just support the original reason they came into the room.
- Our biggest fear is those good candidates may miss the point of what is actually possible when they build a network compared with wasting a lot of time just networking.
- Let’s say you had a real estate business or a solar business.
- How do you compete with others in the market?
- Basically, if you have hundreds of people who Know Like & Trust you, they will sing your praises and refer business to you.
- And we all know how much more powerful that is than trying to tell everyone how good you are – right?
- It’s very ineffective to try to promote ourselves.
- On the other hand, it is very effective when others genuinely promote us.
Scale is where it is at
- It’s much smarter, safer and less stressful, to build a network before committing to a business idea and finding you then have to try to build a network with an urgent transactional focus (rather than a relationship focus).
- In the process of building a network, we meet many people with interesting scalable ideas and concepts.
- Building a large network means you can easily scale any worthwhile idea capable of leverage.
- Which means 4 years from now, people can actually achieve the real results they are after such as:
- More predictable income
- More income security
- An ever decreasing number of hours spent producing an ever-increasing amount of money
- Generating more free time to spend on other activities
- And in the process, we can make a difference in the lives of many others who are also building their networks
- As Zig Ziglar said, if you help enough other people get what they want, you end up getting what you want.
So what’s unique about what we are doing?
- We have a unique opportunity to rapidly build our network because, for the first time, people are beginning to realise that just having lots of connections on LinkedIn does not on its own produce great results.
- And we have a way for the people who attend the Hub to easily and systematically reach out to others on LinkedIn (including many people they don’t know yet) and invite them to meet at the Hub.
- When you think it through, the results of that process are quite amazing!
- When you bring people to the Hub, you are suggesting they also consider inviting people by putting fingers to keyboard for a few hours a week.
- There is no doubt that if they put in a small consistent effort they will build a very large network over the course of the next few years.
- There is also very little doubt that great results will come from that network.
- And in most cases, the best results will probably come from areas outside of what they are currently doing.