Introduction from Alana:
A few weeks ago, I was privileged to be among the faculty at a special High Performance Marketing Boot Camp organized by my long-time pal, Dave Patrick, for the Marketing Department at the University of Kansas School of Business (Go, Jayhawks!). I always love the opportunity to interact with students and these participants were especially engaged – it was a special honor for me and I certainly hope the students enjoyed the event.
Following the formal presentations, I had the chance to visit with several students one-on-one. In fact, I was approached by the very impressive, Ryan Hovey, a sophomore who is studying marketing and strategic communications. He told me that he started studying the concept of Networking when he was in high school and made the determination then that Networking is just like flirting… in the piece that follows, Ryan shares his approach. As you can plainly see, his approach to flirting… er… um… networking worked with me! I know you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.
Please join me in welcoming Ryan Hovey to the CLC Community and Happy Valentine’s Day!
Guest Post from Ryan Hovey, Sophomore, University of Kansas
It’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the air! Throughout the world, people everywhere are looking for the right thing to say to that special someone in their life. What can you say? Flirting is all about saying the right things to get the other person to like you. Flirting can be a useful tool when networking in the business environment. If you’re flirting to get that person to like you, use those same skills to get employers and prospective clients to like you, too.
In high school I began actively studying how to effectively network. During my senior year, I decided that networking and flirting are essentially the same thing. This came from a high school DECA competition. I had a lot of down-time between competing and used that time to both network and flirt. I later realized I was doing both at the same time. This parallel changed the way I spoke with employers at interviews, as well as how I seamlessly communicated with the ladies out there.
At its base, I define networking as a communication tool designed to get people of power to help you out down the road. Whether it be for future jobs, letters of recommendation, or just someone to give general advice. If you want to add someone to your network, they have to “like” you. People will not be willing to help you if they do not like you. To effectively network, you must be able to get people on your side relatively quickly.
Flirting involves saying the right things to the right person to get them to like you. Likely, you do not have a lot of time to do this. BusinessInsider.com posted a study showing it takes “just three seconds for someone to determine whether they like you and want to do business with you.” That is not a lot of time! However, if you can get employers to like you in a matter of seconds, who’s to say you can’t apply those same tactics to flirting?
Now, obviously, you aren’t going to approach a person you’re interested in and start highlighting your workplace qualities. This will not go over well. This is why flirting is watered-down networking. We know that effective networkers are positive and make efficient use of their smile. Apply those same tactics while flirting.
Drawing Them In
Nobody wants to talk to someone with a bad attitude who clearly doesn’t know how to have fun. Additionally, master networkers attempt to be the person they would want to hang out with. Think about the people you have the most fun with – they are likely enthusiastic, funny, intelligent, etc. I am not suggesting you change who you are; instead, be the most attractive version of yourself you can be.
Flirting and networking are centered around the same idea: get people to like you. Or in the business realm, get the hiring or buying agent to at least give you a second look. Use your master networking skills when flirting, and vice versa. Your soft skills are a powerful tool in interviews and can be refined by practicing out in public. Remember, you are always networking! Use these skills and flirt your way into your next job, into making your next sale, or network your way into your next relationship!