9 Simple Steps to Better Networking
No man is an island. At some point in all our lives, we’ve all been touched by someone who went the extra mile to help us through challenging times. Most successful people believe that their social network played a critical part in their success; lending them support and opening doors for them to grow further.
One of our core philosophy prompts all our members and staff to “Keep it Social.” Part of that includes networking effectively to maximise opportunities. You’ve taken your first step reading this article, let’s move on to the remaining 8 steps.
- Begin with an end in mind
Everyone networks for a reason, even if it means knowing a couple of more friends to watch your back. Without a clear objective, you will either be spending too much time with the wrong crowd or too little time to connect with the right ones.
- People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care
“Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” Dale Carnegie, How To Win Friends and Influence People
- It’s not a numbers game, don’t keep score and just dish out name cards
“It’s better to give before you receive. And never keep score. If your interactions are ruled by generosity, your rewards will follow suit.” Keith Ferrazzi, Never Eat Alone
- The best time to drop your 30 seconds introduction and get noticed…
When introducing yourself before asking the speaker a question. Drop a few keywords your target audience would care about.
- Trust is something that goes around in circles
Be generous with your experience, knowledge, contacts and feedback. Share respectfully and you’ll reap dividends later.
- Make friends with Connectors & Mavens
According to Malcom Gladwell’s, The Tipping Point:“Connectors are people who link us up with the world while Mavens are people we rely upon to connect us with new information.”
Knowing a few influencers on a first name basis will get you to the right person or right information in less steps.
- Give people a chance to connect with you online after email follow-ups
Most people go cold after the few initial emails, offer to put your new contacts within your company newsletter or blog’s subscription list.
Give them a chance to follow-up with you in future and receive updates of your professional activities through LinkedIn or Twitter.
- Ask and you shall receive
“If people don’t come through for you, don’t take it personally… If you have a strong network, you can always find another way to get what you’re looking for.” Liz Lynch, Smart Networking
I used to be a wallflower, so here’s what worked for me: Build confidence by approaching figures within the room that are the “easiest.” e.g. booth representatives, speakers, moderators, people who ask questions or other shy types; trust me, they’ll thank you for breaking the silence. If you need time to get used to networking, bring a friend or two to work the crowd together with you.
What’s the last thing you did for someone that left an impression on them?