Quick Guide To Networking
Networking may not be at the top of everyone’s to-do list. It’s usually very time-consuming, sometimes awkward and if you’ve already got a lot on your plate incredibly draining. When your calendar is already overcrowded with meetings, deadlines and family commitments, the last thing you want to do is make small talk with strangers. However, there’s no denying the power a strong professional network can have over your career and business success. Here’s why networking is important to your business success.
Build mutually beneficial relationships.
As you meet people, ask them open-ended questions about their work. What are they
working on? What are some of their current challenges? Is there an opportunity for you to help by connecting them to a resource or guide them based on your value proposition and/or experience? This is how you create strong relationships.
Don’t harass a hard sell.
There’s no bigger put-off than a business person who is relentless in selling themselves to you, so don’t do it yourself to others! Networking is a mutual opportunity, and as much as it’s about showcasing your business, it’s about listening to others showcase theirs too.
Do a little research on what network will actually work best for you and your company. Don’t drop everything and go to every networking event around in hope it will benefit your business! Be deliberate about what events you attend. Spend your time wisely by focusing on these relationships and nurturing them over time.
Make a list.
- Business cards: take up to twenty or thirty per day
- Branded small gift ideas for leads and new clients
- A pen (and a spare!)
- Bottled water
- Small flyers
- Mints (useful for after-lunch meetings)
What’s the goal?
Have it clear in your mind what it is you want to achieve by attending an event for your company immediate future as well as what are you hoping to achieve in the next 3-5 years? Then ask yourself, who do you know and who do you need to know to help you reach that goal? If you need a further help with this have a look at this!
Research the keynote speaker
Keynote speakers in events can teach you to appreciate the various elements necessary for work from a completely different perspective. This can help turn perceived challenges into opportunities. Sometimes you can be too close to an issue and you need someone to make you take a step back and help you see the bigger picture.