Networking is a fantastic way to meet people. It provides a method for individuals to make valuable new connections and get in touch with people capable of accomplishing great things.
Drivers can earn a decent wage and explore all networking opportunities that come their way.
Drivers interested in capitalizing on the fantastic opportunities available with each ride have one hurdle to jump — how to get the most out of every interaction.
Read on to learn about how you can improve your networking skills and make beneficial connections.
Be Prepared to Meet Your Next Connection
Going into a new situation is stressful. Doing so without any prep work ahead of time can cause you to miss out on once in a lifetime opportunities.
To make the most of every interaction, prepare yourself before heading out.
Mentally hype yourself up. Compliment yourself a few times in the mirror and go over your game plan a few times. Be sure to remind yourself of the goal you have in mind while networking.
Seek out these opportunities and keep your ideal result at the forefront. People tend to be less anxious and better focus if they have a purpose driving them forward.
Another great way to hype yourself up for potential networking opportunities is by practicing your “elevator pitch.” This short speech should outline your long-term goals without including too many details.
Be sure to introduce yourself and give a little background of your career history or what you want to be doing.
Practice this speech until you feel that the words flow from your lips with ease. That way, if a passenger asks you if you have any other occupations, you are ready to share your elevator speech with them.
Outside of what is going on between your ears, drivers should consider preparing for success by dressing the part. Looking professional is a great way to make an excellent first impression.
These impressions can hinder you from making valuable connections or increase the odds in your favor.
So, you know what to wear and how to introduce yourself. The next step is deciding how you want to end the interaction.
A solid way to go about ending a conversation with a new connection is by giving them a business card. Make sure your contact information is current.
A good way for new connections to remember you is to have some differentiation on your card, whether that’s your personal logo or website. Be sure to include the following on your business card:
- Occupation Title
- Phone Number
- LinkedIn Profile
- Website, blog or portfolio (if you have one)
Remember, these details need to be readable. Make it easy for new connections to contact you.
Know Where Your Potential Connections Are
Let’s discuss how actually to find those valuable connections. The first step is to figure out where to network.
These places are going to be where your potential connections are visiting.
For example, convention centers and other networking spaces are great places to start. These gatherings promote community and serve as a “meeting of the minds” among notable people in different industries.
By being active throughout these gatherings, drivers can become a familiar face and meet tons of people.
Other locations to tap into are areas where this same crowd is going to be at before and after the event. Target places include nearby hotels and the closest airport.
This increases your chance of picking up people who could lead to career connections and employment opportunities.
To plan for these conventions, conferences, or other major networking activities, check out your city’s event calendar. Also, keep track of tours going on in the industry of interest to you. For instance, you see there is a startup convention, make sure to work in that area. You could potentially meet a business owner who is in the early stages of looking for a go-getter like yourself.
Take note of these dates down by putting them on your physical or digital calendar. Later on when an event takes place, if you are not going to be attending as a participant, plan on driving near the venue.
That way you can still take part in the networking opportunity and make money in the process.
Don’t Force Connections
Let’s say a professional individual from the industry you are interested in gets into your vehicle. They are on the phone, reading papers, and doing other business-related tasks. Do not bother them.
Odds are they are working while on the go and having a conversation with you will break their concentration, thus adding more stress to their day.
Due to this fact, it is essential for drivers to be respectful. Use your best judgment in regards to interaction. Remember to be professional and kind throughout the ride. Avoid forcing your “elevator speech” on them.
Do not inquire as to whether or not they can do you a favor, such as looking over your resume or introducing you to someone, and do not shove your business card into their hand as they leave.
If you do decide to do this, anticipate the rider giving you a bad review as well as throwing your card in the nearest trash bin.
Remember this rule of thumb: if riders start chatting you up about your career interests, engage with them. For example, the rider asks if you have any other ongoing gigs and you give your “elevator speech” in response.
Interested passengers will likely ask more questions and seem engaged or involved in the conversation. This is a good indicator that the rider is a potential connection you want to maintain.
Let the Conversation Flow Naturally
One of the major pitfalls associated with networking is how to go about communicating with your passengers.
Eager, nervous drivers tend to ignore the back and forth flow of a conversation, which can lead to missing the chance to ask essential questions.
Try to picture the discussion as a ping-pong game. They talk, you talk. If there is a lull in the conversation, that is fine. Silence provides an opportunity to reflect on the information you are discussing and can lead to proactive questions.
Be sure to remain professional throughout the entire conversation. Avoid coming off too strong.
Practice making this type of conversation routine with all riders. By doing so, the words will come to you naturally, and people enjoy listening.
Furthermore, you never know who will end up in your car. They may very well know someone that could lead to your next big career break.
If you express to them exactly why they should get you in contact with that person without being overbearing, they may even introduce you to them.
Riders that extend this type of offer have determined that the effort they need to put in to make the interaction happen is worth their time.
Typically, this occurs after a passenger understands the value of the meeting. This is why drivers should work on their networking skills, even if they are not planning to pick up industry related passengers.
Remember, not every ride is going to be a networking opportunity. Sometimes, people have to work while they travel. Other times, individuals want to be alone with their thoughts.
Use your best judgment in determining what your passenger anticipates from the ride.
As for rides with passengers eager to talk, drivers should make the most of it. Take the time to leverage your rideshare business to promote other gigs or goals you are working on.
By doing so, you can make valuable connections that lead to dream jobs, more ride requests, or new friends.
One way to promote conversation is to have a newspaper like the New York Times or Wall Street Journal in your vehicle. If someone sees this, they will know you are a well-read person. It can also lead to a discussion on current events or the stock market. But remember, any political talk should be restrained.
Remember the old saying “Do not judge a book by its cover.” Regardless of who gets into your car, they may be able to help you. From meeting valuable connections or giving you helpful industry insight, you never know who you might meet.
So, reach out and network! Think of every ride as an opportunity to earn loads of cash, meet people, and make valuable connections.
This goes hand in hand with mentally preparing yourself before you start working. Create an elevator speech and rehearse it until the whole thing flows from your lips with ease. Try to keep the speech short and to the point.
Practice communicating with your riders outside of the elevator speech. Be sure to visualize the conversation as a ping-pong match, where things flow back and forth.
Ask open-ended questions and listen to what the rider says.
Furthermore, make sure you’re professional during the entire conversation. The last thing you’d want to do is make them feel pressured or uncomfortable.
Do the physical prep work necessary too. Drivers should always aim to make themselves look presentable.
Although rideshare entrepreneurs are not required to wear a suit while accepting most ride requests, drivers do want to give off a professional vibe and looking the part helps do this.
Another element to consider involves business cards. These should be used to build connections. They should never be forced on anyone.
To determine whether to give a card to a passenger, review the conversation and gauge the rider’s interest level.
If they are connected to the industry you are interested in or want to help you achieve your goal in some way, make sure you leave them with a way to contact you.
You never know who is going to hop in your car next. It could be a trip that changes your life.
Rideshare is also a great opportunity to network and to promote other businesses you have. I heard about one guy on the Rideshare Guy podcast who he’s an actor, and he was able to regularly meet different people who could get him jobs, and get him parts.
And so man, if you were to walk up to this successful person, this lady or man in the street, and say, “Hey, hey I want to show you my resume, or I wanna give you my service.” They’d be like, “Who are you? Get away from me.” But hey, what if they were in your car?
And because you’re an elite driver, you’ve been taking my courses, they’re loving you, they think you’re awesome, they get to know your personality, then you say, “Hey, I actually, I act, or I do this kind of work. Or I do film.”
You know how easy is it to open up those doors, and if you know, if you’re wanting to get in a certain industry, position yourself in the area where those people would be at so that you can rub shoulders with them. And so this is a great opportunity [to] network for you to get other job opportunities, but also if you have a side business, “Hey, I’m a massage therapist.”
If I came to you and said, “I’m a massage therapist, would you like to use my services.” People are like, “Oh, creeper. I gotta get out of here.” But hey, maybe you got to know me for a little bit, and said, “Hey, here’s my card, I also do massage therapy on the side.”
And they’re thinking, “Dude, you’re the man. I love this guy. This guy is safe. I know he’s going to do a good job. He’s great kind of customer service. Or this girl was awesome, or art business.” My friend has an art business, she hands out her cards and stuff like that. You can build your other business on the side in a very natural way that’s not forced because here’s why.
People are going to ask, “Hey, do you drive full-time, or what do you do when you’re not driving?” Boom, glad you asked. I also do this, and they’re like, “So tell me about that.”
Boom, tell you about that. Boom, instant advertisement that is asked, and welcomed, not forced, and that’s a great way to build another business.
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