Networking is a crucial component of increasing your leadership. An influential leader prioritizes relationships with employees and leaders to successfully identify the appropriate method to sell your safety vision and expectations.
– DENIS BAKER
Networking is making connections and building relationships. As a safety professional, you are the key player in getting everyone to buy into your safety plans, expectations, and training. All of this is true, from the bottom to the top. These connections will create an atmosphere of respect and trust, and they will see your vision and desires’ positive values. One of the ways I work to build my networking capability is to focus on recognizing the success of what people do and recognizing their role. I also look to serve people and show them that it is not my success but their success in going home every day. I have learned throughout my career that if I focus on people and their needs and challenges, I will encounter solid relationships and succeed.
I will admit that sometimes networking can be uncomfortable. When I see people doing something wrong or not engaged in safe activities, I initially want to hold them accountable. However, that will not result in building a positive relationship. So instead, I will have them stop and start a conversation about what they can do to reduce the risk and ensure their safety. I’ve experienced that networking can be a long-term adventure. Still, you need to know — it is important to remember that the goal is to form lasting relationships.
Those who expect to immediately reap benefits from an initial connection can feel frustrated, insincere, or want to manipulate people. But, when you genuinely connect with people, you build genuine relationships and identify your commitment to serve them to show interest in their position, activities, and family.
Here are 6 Networking Skills to drive you to Successfully Sale of safety
Ensure you have face-to-face communication
Face-to-face communication refers to the interaction between you and the individual or group where everyone is in direct contact. Having a face-to-face conversation, you will be successful in your one-on-one or group discussions. It offers the receiver(s) and sender(s) a viable opportunity to look into each other’s eyes and evaluate their thoughts and ideas by interpreting body language, facial expressions, emotions, and tone of voice. Sometimes it becomes essential for the people you are interacting with to get a clear idea about you.
Make a positive first impression.
When you initially meet with an individual or group, it only takes a glance, maybe three seconds, for someone to evaluate you the first time. So here are things to consider;
Positively present yourself
- Be yourself.
- Have a winning smile.
- Be transparent and confident.
- Use humor
- Be courteous and attentive.
You have to know this too, “your first impression can be impossible to reverse or undo, and that will affect the capability of achieving an effective and strong relationship.”
Have a very positive and compelling elevator pitch
You are wondering, “why do I need an elevator pitch for successful networking?” Well, every safety professional has to be able to communicate their goals and expectations to anyone. By doing this, this is how you successfully sell your desired outcomes. But, I also know that a positive elevator pitch will drive the first impression. So, here, let me tell you how to create a successful elevator pitch.
Describe who your “customers” are. In the safety profession, your customers are every employee, contractor, vendor, and visitor, regardless of their roles or positions. Show the benefits or results of following your vision and the safety processes and procedures. Appeal to the need or problem of the other person or group. Don’t only be a problem identifier, be a problem solver. Describe the results when meeting or declining safety expectations make people say, “Tell Me More!”
Elevator pitch example;
“Hi, I am your safety supporter. My role is to ensure that you and your colleagues produce safe behaviors and operate in a low-risk environment. I am here to identify what you like and what we need to address to ensure you feel safe and comfortable in everything you do.” – DENIS BAKER
Your elevator pitch should not last more than 30 seconds, or the person or group might start yawning.
It’s hard to be patient when you want or needs people to change their ways. Lack of patience can easily lead to the development of frustration on your side. Here is how I approach the situation when connections and relationships move slowly. Suppose I attempt to aim too directly or quickly at achieving my desired goal. In that case, I move that connection forward (build a strong relationship) by spending more time in the person’s area or working on ways to get more engaged with the person or group. Most times (not all), I see positive progress going forward.
Once you connect with someone, you have to follow up. Timing is of the essence when trying to sell safety because you want to reinforce the connection before the person has forgotten your expectations and what you committed to do or check on. By following up, you strengthen your relationship with the person or group. Following up also allows you to re-evaluate the situation and identify if additional needs or concerns have shown up or been deleted or reduced.
Tips for following up;
- Follow up within 24 hours. You want to follow up quickly so that the person remembers you or your expectations. Walk around or visit, but add additional networking opportunities.
- When you see them, mention something they told you about their family, sport, or hobby.
- Ask if they need anything from you or give them an update on what you said you would do or look into
I encourage you to network with an open mind, learn from others, and welcome opportunities to share your visions and show your commitment to people’s safety. Empowering those around you is the best investment you can make as a safety professional.
Denis is an Executive Director for the John Maxwell Group and is a certified leadership coach, trainer, keynote speaker, and DISC Behaviorial Consultant. Denis is a senior safety professional and a strong, passionate influential person. He is committed to teaching and communicating practical and relevant influencing techniques. His unique, passionate, and emotionally driven style resonates with many, creating a desire to become an effective leader.
You can contact Denis at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on coaching, leadership, team and culture training, DISC Behavioral consulting, or to be an inspirational speaker at your next event.