23 Ivy League Networking Secrets, That Actually Work! Part 2

Welcome back to The 23 Secrets Ivy League Networking Secrets That Actually Work Series.

In part 1, We talked about how I learned to network and the first 10 secrets to learning to network, in real life or digitally.

In today’s post we’re going to look at the next 7 secrets which are the most important.

Find something to take notes with beause we’re going to be doing a deep dive so I can explain in more detail and give you stuff you can use.

11. Be vulnerable using the “blemishing” effect

Vulnerability is one of the keys to establishing an instant connection with someone.

Now a lot of people misunderstand this and think they that they should lead with something really personal right away.

We don’t want to lead with these types of things in a business context!

Instead we want to use the blemishing effect, which says that when a little negative information follows a lot of positive, the thing will be considered more attractive than if presented with the positive information alone.

So when you meet someone you want to connect with digitally or in real life, AFTER you have established your core competency and how you can help the person for free, use a little vulnerability to connect.

12. Create your own “in” group

One of the coolest things Ryan ever told me was that when he was at Harvard Business School there were these clubs that were like “secret” fraternities.

In fact, they technically don’t exist.

This is a dramatic example of what’s called an “in” group.

At a networking event it’s very easy to create your own “in” group.

First, we need to find a comfortable place to stand.

Then we need to form a group of at least 3 people by simply introducing yourself to everyone as they walk by.

This is MUCH easier than it sounds.

Once you have 3 or more people, assume the “power position” in the middle of the group, and make sure it looks like you’re having a good time. Laugh a little too loudly at someone’s joke, make big arm movements and people will begin to approach you.

13. Make yourself a scorecard and grade yourself each time

A good scorecard is simple. It should have 3–5 SMART goals on it and a 1–10 ranking based on how well you did. Add it all up and divide by 4 and that’s your grade after each event.

14. Create a ritual to get in to state

Ever go to a networking event after a really, terrible day?

I have, and it sucks!

I’d drag myself into the shower, get dressed, try to find ANY reason not to go before finally heading to the event.

No surprise I didn’t do any business those days.

Then one day, I talked to Ryan and he told me about what he does before speeches.

He has a ritual he goes through each and every time to get into the right mindframe to speak, take questions from media and network.

A ritual is simply a routine or combination of activities and sensory experiences that help get you into a desired state of mind.

Create your own networking ritual today to get in the right state of mind.

15. Do “warm ups.”

Along the same lines, I encourage you to do “warm up” conversations when you arrive to the event.

When I’m coaching someone, I encourage them to think about the first 3 conversations of every networking event to be warm ups, meaning they don’t count, and all you have to do is approach and say at least 1 thing.

You don’t even have to say anything more than “Hi, how are you?” before you walk away.

16. Have an “after party”

Whenever I’m at a networking event, I’ll find a bar within walking distance and invite anyone I think is cool or I want to do business with to come have a drink afterwards. You can even go digital, and create a group text using Groupme or any of the other similar apps to send out a digital invite during the event.

If you do this right you’ll end up with a group of 6–15 people at a bar having a second mini-networking event except, since you’re the one who invited everyone, you’re in charge and are instantly the authority figure.

Not only that but as everyone who has ever gone to any sort of company related conference knows, more business is done at the bar than during the actual event.

17. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes mid conversation

I was asking Ryan what he does when he goes to one of those political events where he has to “shake hands and kiss babies”

He said the key to those short interactions is that in the middle of it, he’ll consciously try to put himself in the other person’s shoes whether they’re complaining about a specific tax or a stop sign or gay marriage, he asks himself what they need to feel understood right now.

You should do the same.

18. Become a digital networking curator

A lot of networking articles recommend starting your own networking group, which I think is stupid.

However, one thing you can do that’s very easy is to become a digital networking curator in your city.

A curator is someone who collects information and sends it out to other people.

If you hit it off with anyone local or you meet someone who mentions they are looking to network a lot, offer to let them know about the next event you’re going to either through social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook or through a group email.

That wraps up our second set of secrets, be sure to join us back here for part 3 where I’ll wrap everything up with the last 6 secrets and leave you with some words to inspire you to make the most of you next networking opportunity.

Originally published at www.socialnomics.net on April 23, 2015.