Networking is extremely important in today’s job market. You will find some helpful guidelines for networking below.
1. Meet as many people as possible
Actively seek out occasions to strike up conversations. Everyone you meet may be a potential employer or a gateway to other connections/leads.
2. Make Networking a Part of your Lifestyle not a Sales Tactic
Networking is about building associations and relationships that are mutually beneficial. It is not a place you go. Look to people you enjoy connecting with. Networking does not always produce immediate results; you have to build rapport, and that requires commitment and follow through.
3. Prepare a Good Introduction
Develop a 60 second elevator speech. State who you are, what you do, how you deliver the services. Show compassion in your work instead of labelling your title.
4. Be Proactive
Be the host or hostess not the guest. Hosts are known for mingling, making introductions and being inclusive. Be the first to extend your handshake and exchange business cards.
5. Get Curious
Have a genuine interesting in learning about the other person. Ask questions (who, what & where). Keep it light and conversational and determine how you can help or pass on a referral to them.
6. Attitude is Everything
Approach all networking events with purpose & enthusiasm. If you have a positive attitude, you’ll find it more enjoyable and an enriching experience. You will also be attractive and likely to have others drawn to you.
7. Be a Resource to Others
Be of service, think of fulfilling the needs of other people and in turn, they will fill your needs. You give as much as you get!
8. Be a Great Listener
Focus on the other person. Acknowledge each others value as individuals. If you listen, you may discover common ground that will help build trust and support on both sides.
9. Always Carry your Business Cards
You never know where you will meet people, who can help you or people you could offer assistance to.
10. Nurture your Network
Follow-up with those you meet. Send a quick note just to say you enjoyed meeting them. Collect business cards and note pertinent details about the person on the back. Next time you connect with that person, they will be flattered because you remembered something about them.
Check Skills Connect next week for 30 Principles and Practices of Effective Networking.