In the business world, making new connections and interacting with people — commonly known as networking — is essential in achieving and sustaining success.
But Ngan Nguyen (www.nganhnguyen.com), an intelligent leadership coach and author of Self-Defined Success: You Have Everything It Takes, says taking the next step beyond networking is where some people stumble. She calls that next step “community-building” and it can only happen with consistent relationship-building.
“Networking means little if strong relationships aren’t built for the long haul, sustained, and other connections don’t spawn from those relationships,” Nguyen says. “Being open and available for when opportunities come is what positions us to move forward. But you really can’t do so if you haven’t done enough relationship-building in order to build the community you need around you.
“Weaving a wide net of connection is the essence of community-building, which provides a solid foundation of true support to help you keep moving forward in business. It’s taught to a degree in networking, but building a community requires much more than honing that perfectly scripted pitch, going to countless networking events, talking to as many people as you can and handing out your card. What is required is the ability to build, foster, and hold relationships.”
Nguyen offers these ways to build relationships and a community of support around you:
Believe in the value of you. “Inwardly and outwardly, be clear about who you are and what you offer as a person,” Nguyen says. “Fully believe in the value of you, before your product. When you embody the confidence of your message, clients will clearly see your value and be more likely to buy.”
Seek to give, not to pitch. “Giving to others genuinely creates goodwill, and as you show you care for others, you build a rapport and they naturally are drawn to you,” Nguyen says. “Scrap the elevator pitch. Be real and someone people want to know. People will refer people they like, people who had an impact on them with their kindness. It’s much more effective than the salesperson at a networking event circling the room and handing out cards.”
Be in the right place, right time. Nguyen says one needs to trust their intuition to find the right networking places where long-term relationships can spawn. “You hone your intuition so it guides you to the right place, where you can be in the perfect opportunity that will skyrocket your success,” Nguyen says. “People do business with people they know, like, and trust. To find an environment that fosters this, seek out events that are more likely to attract a culture of giving and fun so it is more likely to build friendships. Then, business can happen naturally and organically.”
“The miracles and best things in our lives are often influenced by other people,” Nguyen says. “To build influence and a community of people who support you and constantly send you referrals requires relationships that keep growing, and much of that depends on what you put into it and how sincere you are.”
Ngan Nguyen (www.nganhnguyen.com) is the author of Self-Defined Success: You Have Everything It Takes, and the founder/CEO of Cintamani Group, an executive coaching and consulting firm. Nguyen coaches on leadership and empowers entrepreneurs as an intuitive strategist. She is partnering with Secret Knock and WeWork to bring a major networking event to Boston on Dec. 11 for entrepreneurs and business leaders.
With over a decade of business strategy experience as an advisor to Fortune 100 companies, Nguyen is also a certified master-level intelligent leadership executive coach with John Mattone and was an analyst for McKinsey & Company. Nguyen graduated with a double honors degree in biochemistry-biophysics and bioengineering from Oregon State University and completed a research fellowship at MIT in nanotechnology.