Have you ever heard of the term, Know, Like and Trust (KLT)? What is KLT? It’s when we built a relationship with a business and refer that business to others. When we are in need, what do we do? We will call our friends to ask them who they know, like, and trust to figure out who we should be doing business with.
But what happens when it’s your business that is building KLT with others? Sometimes it can feel like you’re not making any progress and yet you’re putting your energy into networking and getting to know people. But what is missing? Here are 5 ways you can build your KLT better and quicker.
- Always talk about the other person. Do NOT go up to someone and say, “Hi, my name is ___ and I do ___.” That does not build KLT. It automatically tell someone that you want to sale them something.
I attended a seminar where the keynote speaker discussed how to talk about the person you’re networking with. To begin with the basics, ask what their name is and how they got to the networking meeting. Is it their first time, their tenth or their hundredth? If they are a regular, ask how they got involved with the group.
Start finding out more about them. Where are they from, have they grown up there, what is their favorite restaurant, hobby, movie, TV Show, and whatever else that can connect you to them.
I do warn you though, if the person is not asking about you, then it may not be a person you want to work with or even network with. This getting to know one another goes both ways. If it doesn’t, you need to say, “It was so nice meeting you, but I’m going to talk with ____ real quick.” However if you find yourself not being able to escape, always remember that you might have left an awesome impression with that person.
- Ask how YOU can help someone. I’m in an amazing networking group and one exercise we did was ask a person, “What can I do to help your business?” This not only shows how much you care, but how generous you are. Now when you ask this, don’t have the thought of, “Ohhh I can’t wait for you to ask me!” in mind. People may see that $$$ look in your eye and that can turn someone off. Be attentive and throw out some brainstorming ideas for the person. Actually give them a referral or contact information if you know of someone who could help them achieve excellence in their business.
- Be Authentic. People can see who you really are when you’re authentic and presenting them your character. Practice being an attentive listener, showing compassion and joy, and showing them how much you not only care, but feel for them.
- Be the expert you know you are. You got into your field because you love it and you know a thing or two about it. However, we live in a world where the lines of cocky and confidence are blurred. ReallyConnect describes how you can present yourself as an expert in your networking group without giving the impression that you’re cocky in anyway: “This part of the trust factor can be raised when answering questions in Group Discussions in your field of expertise. By giving solid answers you will be perceived as an expert. “
- Ask clients or powerful people for referrals. Do you know someone who is powerful in a networking group and when he/she speaks, everyone literally stops to listen? These people are valued because they have developed the KLT factor and everyone knows it.
Get close to these powerful people. People are going to weigh in on what they say. Ask these people if they will give your product or service a try and ask for a testimonial. If they start to brag about you, people are going to listen and trusting you because of them.
“Also, having recommendations from other people describing your professional expertise will increase your Trust factor (ReallyConnect).” Ask your past and present clients to referral you out. Call a friend and brainstorm with him/her about who you could connect with. When I was looking for clients, I called a friend and the next day I had a client! And it’s all because she wants to see me grow and I took the incentive to call her!
You’re bound to find someone in your networking group who wants to see you grow and that person will do almost anything to help you get to your striving point. Ask for their advice and how and who you can connect with. This information is free and no cost to you!
When you go out networking from now on, you’ll have a goal: find the powerful people in the group to ask if they would like to use your services, talk about other people, ask how you can help business someone else’s business, be the expert and authentic. Don’t aimlessly go out networking; networking with a purpose in mind!