It’s a timeless sales adage: When you’re in front of a potential customer, you’re not just selling them on your product; you’re selling them on you. The customer feels that sense of trust and comfort. There’s an implicit bond that you’re offering something they need. One of the keys to the connection is being genuine.
That honesty and sincerity is just as important in business networking. Consider a typical scenario: You’re launching a new business and you’ve been invited for the first time to attend a monthly get-together of other small business owners. The room will likely be filled with 75-to-100 people that you probably don’t know. Each one of those people has a network of contacts, so the potential is there to have access to several thousand more connections. A lot is at stake.
Now, you can enter the room with ego on display all set to talk about the great and powerful you. Or, you can choose to engage with people and learn about them. What do they do? Why are they there? How long have they been attending?
Here’s where it gets tricky. If you come across as fake, as if you’re going through the motions just to build business, the truth will peek through. But if you’re truly curious about the people you meet, and the process feels natural, that’s when you’re being genuine. More often than not, that earnestness will be recognized and appreciated.
The importance of being genuine in business networking can’t be understated. Most people can intuitively sense when passion and sincerity are pure when compared to someone faking their way through the motions. By being genuine, your business networking connections are more likely to want to help you succeed.