Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Just be yourself

After a talk I gave in Birmingham last week, one of the attendees, Angie Hart of Supreme Systems emailed me. Angie was struggling with her networking:

"I find it hard sometimes trying to make IT memorable so I find myself repeating the same old patter – Angela Hart, Client Services Manager, reliable IT partner, Microsoft Gold Partner, Local, Trustworthy – the usual....

"How can you make IT memorable? Should I forget about the IT and try to make “me” memorable thereby creating the memorable link?"

My response to Angie was to take her own advice and focus on building relationships with people she meets rather than worry about the business. Angie had approached me to chat after my presentation and I remembered her when I received her email. I did so because she has a very engaging personality, is enthusiastic and very likeable, an asset she should be confident in and make more of. 

When people first meet you they are not genuinely interested in your business, they want to meet people they like. As you build the relationships people will want to understand better how they can help you. That is the point to start focusing on your message about your business, because they will be more receptive. You can also tailor your message to their understanding, their network and ability to help.

I've talked before about selling 'through' people when you network, rather than to them. Building relationships because you like each other enables you to do just that.


  1. Mike Smith10:53 am

    Hi Andy

    Simple and very accurate post. I work with accountants and getting them to step outside their analytical and protective shell can be quite difficult.

    Interestingly most of them are easy going, engaging and personable people once their guard is down.

    Great post


  2. Hi Andy,

    Great advice. It can prove difficult if you are viewed as "an IT person" or "an accountant". Bonding is paramount in networking yet it's difficult to bond with a business. It's easy to bond when you are being yourself.

    I especially like your comment about people wanting to help you. That's the sign of great rapport.

    I appreciate you sharing this with us.