“Succeeding in business is all about making connections” – Richard Branson
I consider myself to be an introvert.
Networking is not easy when you are an introvert, I remember the first time I was terrified…just kidding, what I mean that it was not easy for me at first, but very soon I notice that it was not that difficult to be done.
After you have done it a couple of times, believe me, you will notice the difference, you won’t feel scared to communicate with others anymore, on the contrary, you will totally value the enormous benefit that this can bring to you. The exchange of information and knowledge with other people is totally priceless.
Probably you might have heard both the good and the bad of networking. Both sides of the coin, from people who have taken full benefit of it, and others who will think twice before they ever do it again. In my opinion, I don’t want to be included in the last group.
Nowadays, you have to consider the value through networking not only for your business also for your personal life.
Here are 5 tips on networking that will help you build a solid foundation and grow a strong circle of connections.
- Be yourself from the start. Anyone will see right through you if you’re putting on “airs” in order to impress them. People want to do business with people they like so be authentically you.
- Pace yourself. Connections, made correctly, will be long-lived so don’t make that first meeting all about you and your product.
- Be curious. The best way to get to know people is to listen and to have a genuine curiosity.
- Make the effort. Events are high energy and people get wrapped up in the moment. As soon as they return back to work, that quickly weans and its business as usual. Make the effort to stay in touch. A short email, text, or even snail mail communication is often met with pleasant surprise.
- Be a good addition. You meet people every single day and not every person is going to be a good fit for your network. The reverse is true. Many people will meet you and not jive with you in that way. When there is a mutual connection, be sure to be a good addition to their network. Be someone they can count on and it is very likely that they will do the same.
*Source: It All Started With a Feather; a Networking Success Story. – Michelle Lawson
Just remember Networking is based on the question “How can I help” and not with “What can I get”. It’s all about harvesting not hunting.