Don’t just fake it – How to form genuine connections with other businesses

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If you’ve gotten serious, left your garage and taken the leap to find a hot desk or office to rent at a coworking space, you’ll soon discover that networking is only one of its major advantages. However, it can often be difficult to create genuine connections in the office. The most crucial aspect of any networking conversation is transparency. No one is interested in joining forces with a person who seems unequivocally dull, fake, or simply boring. Here are some ways to avoid that:

Let your passion be as obvious as George’s bald spot

There’s a difference between selling and being genuinely excited and passionate about what you do – people can easily tell the difference. Anyone in sales understands that to sell, one must overcome Margret’s 99 objections to have her purchase something. On the other hand, when you genuinely have your passion on display, people become curious. They think to themselves, “why is he smiling like an idiot to himself as he prints his business cards?” or, “why does she look so happy yet constipated while writing notes?”. It’s all about sparking that curiosity. Why? Because it gets the conversation started.

The person you speak to might not need what you’re offering. However, if you give off that fun and down to earth vibe, they might like you enough to recommend your product to people they know. That word of mouth is exactly the type of free marketing you want to be generating.

Share some of your tricks of the trade

A co-working space has a mindset of openness. This is not to say be so open to everyone that you share all your trade secrets (don’t worry, no one wants to know you wear your lucky SpongeBob underwear before closing a big deal). However, sharing knowledge can not only help someone around you but also lead to growth in your business. You never know when Steve will keep you in mind for a start-up grant, business workshops, or impart some insightful knowledge back to you – what goes around comes around.

Make conversation

This could be as simple as asking someone to join you on your coffee run. You could bond over your love for coffee, show pictures of your cat or even share what you did over the weekend. The point is to be conversational. You don’t want to come off as trying to find any spare second to pitch your business to them. This can result in discovering potential new clients or even spark a possibility for collaboration on a project.

Propose work swapsies

When a co-worker attempts to offer you something you need, try to trade that for something they might need. In doing this, you market your services to others in the co-working space too.

For instance, if you’re a photographer and another person is an event marketer, offer to trade services. When everyone sees the amazing photos from an event on their desk, they’ll know it was you, sitting a row behind them that took those fab snaps.

A co-working space can be so much more than the place you show up to just to get things done. The potential to make new connections and network is an endless advantage. If you do this right, networking will become incredibly simple and will exponentially benefit the growth of your business. So, try some of these tips for yourself and watch your network flourish.