Tips for Successful Networking
Effective business networking is the linking together of individuals who, through trust and relationship. Networking is about being genuine and authentic, building trust and relationships, and seeing how you can help others.
Here are a few tips to consider:
1. Set goals to achieve in networking meetings
Pick groups that will help you get what you are looking for. Some meetings are based more on learning, making contacts, and/or volunteering rather than on strictly making business connections.
2. Hold volunteer positions in organizations
This is a great way to stay visible and give back to groups that help you.
3. Ask open ended questions
Questions that ask who, what, where, when, or how as opposed to those that can be answered yes or no open up discussion and show others you are interested in them.
4. Be a resource
When you are known as a strong resource people turn to you for ideas and references and this strengthens your visibility.
5. Be clear when identifying your needs.
If someone askes “how can I help you?” be certain you have a clear answer.
6. Follow referrals
When you receive a referral follow-up quickly. This is a reflection on the person giving the referral. This respect will help obtain further referrals you may need.
I hope these suggestions help you improve the use of time spent in networking sessions. It is rarely productive to merely meet and chat with the same contacts at every session merely because it may be more comfortable.
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