Does the thought of networking make your stomach just turn? Ever feel like you don’t get the full outcome you would like when you network? No worries! You aren’t alone! Without the proper skills, even the most outgoing people can fall flat on their face. Learning how to network effectively is one of the most powerful tools an individual can use to advance their personal and professional life. This skill can help you land your dream job, score a promotion, and become close with other leaders within your industry.
Here are 6 tips to help you network like a pro:
1. Define Who Your People Are
Consider going to any networking opportunity and think about any and every connection. Referrals, power partners, resources, and friends can all help you in creating a strong strategy to defining your audience. Those who utilize your products or services have the ability to offer honest and wholesome referrals while power partners have similar cliental and can broaden your connections overall. Friends and resources are great for not only bouncing ideas off of, but also for advocating for you and your business.
2. Make A Plan
Are there hundreds of networking events in your community? Not sure you can attend all of them or who to talk to first? Reach out to a friend that you know is a great networker and ask to tag along! Or perhaps find the person running the event and ask them who would be a good connection. Find your niche and soon you will be a networking guru!
3. Get Your Game Face On
People do business with people they know, like, and trust. If you want to build better and stronger relationships, you need to be prepared to speak accurately and positively about what you do.
4. Get Prepped
What’s in your purse or wallet? There is nothing more obnoxious than waiting for someone to dig through their wallet or purse to pull out a crumpled business card. Have plenty of business cards ready to distribute. Or gather contacts in a mobile device!
5. Ask Questions
People LOVE to talk about themselves! Have a handful of questions prepared beforehand to easily begin a conversation with. Not only can you learn about someone new but you can also learn something about someone you already know.
6. Don't Be A Creep
Don’t be that person. Following-up is important, but it can get super weird really quick. Be sure to add value and professionalism to your outreach while keeping it lightweight and fun. If you are not getting the response you would like from someone, double check to make sure their information is correct. If it is, and you still are not receiving a call back, then they may not have felt the same partnership opportunity that you did. It is perfectly acceptable and there are plenty of other connections to make!
Large, open networks have the power to create countless opportunities for connection, career growth, creativity, and collaboration. Yet most people put off networking because they view it as arduous or a waste of time. Ultimately it’s all about the relationships built through networking. It can make or break scoring a job, sale, or account. Ready to Get Started? Attend any of the Chamber’s annual networking events and make your mark!