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24 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k j a n u a r y / f e b r u a r y 2 0 1 8 When most people go to a networking event or are in a networking situation, they concentrate on how to get business from it. Or worry about doing it wrong. When you flip your focus to helping others, everything changes. Think about making connections that will benefit others. Who can you introduce to start a valuable business relationship? Who needs to meet your CPA? Your baker? Your chiropractor? Your goat's milk soap maker? Take some pressure off yourself and don't worry about getting business from networking. That may sound dumb, because what's the point of networking if you don't get business from it, right? Here's the thing: the more you help other people, the more you will benefit. There's a reason Business Network International (BNI; the largest networking organization in the world) coined the phrase "givers gain." The more you give, the more you get in return. KEEP YOUR ELEVATOR PITCH SIMPLE People get hung up on the perfect elevator pitch. They want to say something like, "I'm Mary! I'm a massage therapist who helps people feel better and lower stress. I typically work with athletes, busy professionals, and new moms." 24 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k j a n u a r y / f e b r u a r y 2 0 1 8 BLUEPRINT FOR SUCCESS best practices Root Canal or Networking? Making the Unnatural Natural By Allissa Haines You open the front door and look around. There it is, in all its terrifying glory: a networking event. People everywhere. Chatting. Exchanging business cards. Smiling. Laughing. Acting curious about each other's businesses. Drinking coffee. You feel like throwing up but you square your shoulders, clutch your business card holder, recite your elevator pitch, and walk up to the check-in table. Does this scenario strike fear into your heart? Welcome to the club. You're just like 93 percent of massage therapists (that's a likely true, but made-up statistic) who would rather endure a root canal than a networking event. To many of us, networking feels pushy and salesy. But it doesn't have to be that way. Really. Networking can be natural, easy, and even fun! A change in perspective can make networking a more pleasant experience and, of course, help your practice grow. WHAT IS NETWORKING? Networking is not making dumb small talk with as many people as possible. It's not pushing a bunch of business cards into people's hands. It's not selling yourself to total strangers. Networking is the act of connecting. Resist the urge to make it complicated. Or salesy. Or icky. To be a great networker, look for opportunities to make useful connections between people. You're probably networking every day without realizing it. Our clients are bankers and auto mechanics and Avon reps and all numbers of people doing all kinds of jobs. When your client with the Etsy store mentions needing a real storefront and you give her the name of your commercial real estate broker, bam! You just networked! Give yourself a cookie. Once you think of it this way, it becomes easier and less stressful, right? You're ready for the next step. NETWORKING IS NOT ABOUT YOU Well, this is kind of true. It's ultimately about you and growing your business. But this is not the initial approach. You help yourself by being helpful to others. Not in a smarmy, manipulative way, but by getting a little more savvy and structured about the connecting you already do every day.

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