Kenneth Ervin Young is a Business and Digital Marketing Coach, a Full-Stack Website Developer, a Georgia Institute of Technology Electrical Engineer, a Husband, and a Father. Kenneth resides in Tampa, Florida, USA.

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What is the #1 Professional Networking Rule that you follow in life?

We’ve all met them. We first met these people when we were a child. Sometimes they were often our Mom, our Dad, our Grandmother, or Grandfather. They might have been a favorite Aunt or Uncle. Perhaps they were even a neighbor or someone we would listen to at the library.

Some of the greatest Professional Networking masters:

  • Herodotus (Greek philosopher and the Father of History)
  • Roald Dahl
  • Charles Dickens
  • William Shakespeare
  • JK Rowling
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Hans Christian Andersen
  • Lewis Carroll
  • Walt Disney

Who am I talking about above?

I’m talking about the Great Storytellers. The Great Storytellers were the Professional Networking Greats!

Each of us remembers these standout people even 10-20-30+ years later. Why? Because they had a magical way of sharing a great story – bringing it to life!

As a small child, most of us learned the power of listening to a great storyteller. You hung onto every word they spoke. Their words planted images in your mind that transported you into the story they shared. You couldn’t wait to share the story they told with your friends. You made sure that you were at every event they spoke at so you could hear another great story from them.

Table of Contents

Professional Networking Rules – Techniques That Fail

Networking is challenging for most of us. What Professional Networking Rules should we learn to use to succeed at networking? We mostly follow the same old pattern. We smile. Then we say “Hi” and introduce ourselves. Next, we usually present our business cards to the one or more persons we meet. We mention a one-liner about what we do. By the time we have finished our one-liner, most people have already forgotten our names, and we have likely forgotten their names. Rinse and repeat. We leave most events lucky if a single person we met remembers our name or us their name.

Throughout human history, people have tried various techniques to remember them (what we now refer to as networking). Consequently, some people would dress in either absurd or erotic fashion. Others would arrive at events early or “fashionably late.” Some people would wear tennis shoes to black-tie parties. Others would wear peek-a-boo clothing. More fine folks might wear a noticeable perfume or cologne.

These techniques work to various degrees, but none of these make for a great choice if you are trying to foster a business relationship.

So is there a better choice to religiously follow to become a networking master?

Yes! Become a Great Storyteller!

Rule #1: Become a Great Storyteller

Every engagement, both planned and unplanned, is an opportunity to use this new Professional Networking Rule of becoming a great storyteller. So how do you begin?

Step 1. Read, listen and watch. All of these storyteller masters have works that in the form of books, audio recording or videos. Listen and view a few of the videos.

  • Close your eyes as you listen. Their words are telling the story.
  • Listen to how their tonal qualities change as they move through the story.
  • Hear how they carefully enunciate each word.
  • Listen to the pregnant pauses and when they insert them into the story.
  • Hear the rise and fall in the inflection of their voice.
  • Notice how their words paint a picture in your head.
  • Make a list of the techniques you heard that made you remember the story – and the person.

Consequently, now using this new networking rule, you will have started your journey to becoming a great storyteller.

Step 2. Since your focus is on business networking, you need to craft a story. But the story is not about you. Instead, it is a story about a person similar to those you will share your account with. Remember, most people like and want to be around a particular person because of  “how that other person makes them feel.” So your task is to use a story that will make the people you engage with feel “positively” about themselves. You can create this positive feeling in many different ways. For example, you can craft a story that will make those that you meet:

  • Laugh
  • Remember a happy event
  • Give them inspiration
  • Remember a favorite person
  • Reflect on a favorite pet
  • Ponder new ways to handle a big challenge

Example: Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf

Our Website Security Service is something that is “super techy” to most of our customers. Most people are reluctant to buy something that they don’t understand. I want to help my clients understand the importance of this service to their business. To accomplish this, I took a very technical product and crafted a story that non-technical clients can more easily comprehend. Below is the story.

Did you hear the story about a big bad wolf (the problem or challenge facing a typical client) that came to each of the homes (the client’s business) of the three little pigs (the potential clients)? At the home of each little pig, the big bad wolf huffed and puffed to try to “blow their house down” (destroy the business).

The first little pig had built his house out of straw. As a result of the weak construction, the big bad wolf huffed and puffed and quickly blew down the straw house, leaving the first little pig homeless.

The second little pig had built his house out of sticks. As a result of the weak construction, the big bad wolf huffed and puffed and quickly blew down the stick house, leaving the second little pig homeless.

The third little pig was wiser than his two brothers and built his house out of stone. The house took a bit longer to build and cost a little more, but the third little pig knew his home would be much safer. As a result of the third little pig’s house’s sturdy stone construction, the big bad wolf huffed and puffed, but the house didn’t budge. The third little pig looked through his window and laughed at the big bad wolf. “You’re not making me homeless!” said the third little pig.

The Lesson of the Professional Networking Story

“Do you want your business website protection to be like the house of little pig number 1, 2, or 3?”

“Our Website Security Service makes your business website as secure as the third little pig’s house.”

Please keep reading for the “techy” folks out there or the non-techy who want to become techier. I have tons of details on everything we do to secure and protect your business website from the “big bad wolf” who wants to destroy or hold your business for ransom.

As a result, do you think the people I meet might be more likely to remember me and my story?

Conclusion – Professional Networking – One Rule to Follow!

Above all, I want you to remember that your #1 of my Professional Networking Rules is to be a Great Storyteller and “Leave Every Person With a Great Story to Share.”  If you master this one skill, you will succeed at professional networking!

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