This Entrepreneur And Networking Genius Shares the Power of Making Dynamite Connections
This serial entrepreneur and networking genius offers everything you need to know to jump back into post-pandemic workforce creating more connections than ever
Millions of men and women spanning every business you can dream of are delighted to once again have the freedom to congregate within the office, have in-person client meetings, and see each other face-to-face, as opposed to being isolated behind computer screens. This liberation from the confines of our homes is a celebration for all to show up fully and at their best, again able to lean into working a room, utilising their radiant, confident energy to win the hearts and minds of potential business partners and customers alike. Yet, despite good intentions, it has become apparent that the past years of virtual work have many professionals needing a gentle re-education in how to work their smooth communication skills and networking magic again.
We spoke with Cody Caplinger, founder and CEO of Klick Solar, a premiere solar installation company based out of Colorado that has experienced booming success by creating strong connections and relationships.
Caplinger has entrepreneurship coursing through his veins, a part of his very being. Starting businesses from a very young age, he learned well from his business-owner parents and excelled in selling everything from lemonade to lawn services.
This enterprising aspect of his personality, still so tangible you could reach out and touch it, has guided him from one sales opportunity to the next. Throughout those years of business experience, he discovered what was at the core of every success - relationships.
Today, Caplinger shares his valuable insights on creating deep and meaningful connections and putting them to work in making this your best year in business to date.
The keys to growing and expanding your network
"Your network is your net worth," chimes Caplinger, a huge proponent of utilising connections as your greatest resource. While this mantra rings true for him, attributing his soaring profits to the vast network of people with whom he maintains relationships, he points out that the benefits far exceed those of increased financial assets.
What Caplinger means is, for large and small business owners alike, longevity is a top priority. The key to a long-lasting organisation is finding support through connection with other business owners, especially those with experience who can share insight on the road you are currently walking. Caplinger instils this point in us, explaining, "It takes a village to run a company - the more people you have in your community, the more people you know, the more perspectives you have - the better."
Long ago, Caplinger set a personal goal that still stands: To meet new people every single week. He encourages those aspiring to create their own web of meaningful contacts to tap into local networking groups, business coaching programs, conferences and to simply get in the practice of introducing yourself to the people around you. There are opportunities everywhere, even where you would least expect them.
Become a better listener
This is the one, most crucial piece of advice that everyone knows but never puts into practice! Listening to the words that someone says to you, whether it be a client, a contractor, a team member, or someone you just met in line at the coffee shop, will tell you far more about their needs, desires, and how to truly connect with them than any other resource.
Caplinger implores us to remember this illuminating fact, "We were given two ears and one mouth for a good reason - to listen far more often than we speak." Adopting this mentality of staying present and focusing on what your new conversation partner is saying will take you off the hook from worrying about what clever thing you are going to say next.
Instead, Caplinger suggests making mental notes about notable things said in conversation and later recording and saving them to repeat when you follow up with this person. "Repeating things you discussed in your previous exchange will signal to their brain that you were actually listening," Caplinger reveals. "When people feel like you are tuned in to what they have to say, this fosters trust and deeper connections."
Harness the power of your words
Our single most powerful tool we have been equipped with as human beings is our voice. We can express ourselves through language to uplift, encourage, connect, empower, and enrol others. This is especially important to keep in mind when approaching networking, because anyone can talk, but those who use their words thoughtfully and tactfully stand out from the crowd.
When coaching his Klick Solar sales teams, Caplinger motivates them to "Empower, Outwork, and Overcommunicate." This tactic is as successful in helping his team gain trust and respect from door-to-door sales with homeowners as it is making solid friendships and connections at networking events. In Caplinger's terms, overcommunicating means speaking with clarity, openly sharing your story, giving plenty of information to answer questions, and not holding back.
In the same thread, Caplinger offers one of his best methods for relating to new and old connections, sharing, "Reach out to these people and celebrate their victories, give them shout outs for their achievements, make a phone call to let them know how much you appreciate them and what effect they have had on your life." Using your voice in this way lets people know you see them and gives them ample reason to want to support you in your endeavours.
Invest in yourself and others
An overlooked aspect of networking is personal development. Getting into a room full of professionals where it is of utmost importance that you are engaging, tuned in, and at your best, it quickly becomes apparent that mindset is crucial.
To set yourself up for success, Caplinger presents to us the guidance he uses to support himself and his Klick Solar team, explaining, "Feed your mind, put yourself in a mindset of abundance, and you will see opportunity everywhere you look."
By cultivating personal growth through reading, seminars, and online classes on topics that speak to you and give you a greater understanding of yourself and the world around you, you instantly become magnetic, interesting, and more likely to relate to your business connections on a deeper level.Take a page from Caplinger's book to revolutionise your return to the office by mastering networking and expertly navigating business connections and partnerships. When you see your network, co-workers, and the entire team as family, it allows you to think about each new relationship as simply growing that family, which is where the joy is.