Yes, I know, if networking doesn’t come natural to you, it feels like a chore. Oprah said: “Surround yourself only with people who are going to lift you higher.” And I would add – You will raise them as well in the process. Here are few basic rules and ideas that will help you to become a better networker.
Become a good listener. When meeting someone new, or simply when talking with anyone, listen to what they have to say. Ask questions and be attentive to their answers. What if you could help them to solve a problem? Or even better, what if you know someone else who can help them? Then you can introduce one to the other. You become their network connection.
Be consistent. Networking is most effective when it’s done routinely – not just once or twice. The best networkers create a schedule and then stick to it. Create chunks of time you’ll dedicate to networking. For example, commit to three networking events per month, and decide to reach out to 2-3 professionals a day via LinkedIn or email.
Do what you say you would do – stick to your word. If you tell someone you’re going to do something for them, make sure to do it. And not only that, but do it as quickly as possible! Remember, professionals are busy people. Demonstrate your credibility by following up on your word.
Keep records of people you meet – keep a list. Networking means talking to many different professional. This could lead to information overload. Establish a list of individuals as you meet them, make notes regarding the company or industry they represent, their expertise, and notes about your conversation.
Show your interest and enthusiasm. It is said that the best networking professionals are happy in what they do. When meeting people, you need to show you’re passionate about your what you do, as well as about what they do. They will notice – they’ll want to engage with you and share their ideas with you. This will allow you to share yours with them. Ultimately, this will help you to move forward in your networking goals.
Networking is a necessity in today’s ever-changing world of business. There are many levels of personal and professional connections that can lift you higher. These people will motivate you, will give you sound advice, and will provide that boost to help you to the top.
Who may be a good influence on your goals and productivity? As you begin to network in your niche with inspiring mentors, and influential clients, think about whom you would want by your side when it counts.
The Mentor. It’s exciting to meet and talk with people and to bounce ideas off each other. It’s no easy task to find these mentors and coaches to work with on improving your business. The Mentor type in networking should be generally interested in your ideas, and be agreeable to share their wisdom and knowledge. Find these people to discover more about yourself, tap into your potential, and the direction you should go.
The Idealist. You are passionate about your dreams. This passion is a must to enjoy your work and make your dreams come true. The Idealist is someone who will listen to your ideas, share insight, and work with you to help you achieve your goals.
The Industry Insider. We can always use advice from the experts in your niche. The Industry Insider will have many predictions to help you with where you should focus your energy. They will have solid information on online strategies and marketing as well as let you in on who you should keep an eye on. Show interest in their knowledge and advice, ask how you could be of help.
The IT Expert. Technology is evolving at high speed; it is next to impossible to stay on top of new innovations and devices. Knowing someone close in your network that can keep you updated on the best communication devices, hot new products or software, and apps to improve your business, and you will definitely have a leg up on the competition.
Networking isn’t difficult and shouldn’t be intimidating. Successful networking can be drawn up to time commitment, focused energy and understanding of few basic rules.