Improve Your Networking Skills — Right Now
Networking is everything – it helps your chances of employment, increases your contacts and can help improve your business. Here are some tips and tricks to help improve your networking skills. Read More….
Well, I guess I stretched it a little bit when I said I don’t agree with all 7 of the networking tips. The reality is I agree with every one of them, I just don’t think they go far enough.
Get off your computer – I don’t believe computers is the place to network. Networking is about building relationships. While the computer can be a useful tool, it is not an optimum medium for relationship building. On the other hand, it is a great tool for research and I think that is important to your networking efforts. Computers can help you target your networking.
• Figuring out who do you want to meet
• What events give you the best opportunity to meet them
Forget that you’re working – I agree; once you meet the person you came to meet. Then you want to get to know them and give them a chance to know you. Your objective is to be able to meet with them again and that will have more to do with how they feel about you then it does how they feel about your product/service.
Set goals – If you do your research, a goal of meeting one of two key people can have a significant impact on your business. That is where the preparation really pays off.
Mind your manners – Keep remembering, we have two ears and one mouth. If you can listen twice as much as you speak, you will always make a great impression, and you will walk away knowing the person you just met that much better.
Elevator pitches still matter – Now I really don’t know if I strongly agree with this one. I’m from the school of “they don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” I think in most networking situations, most people are trying so hard to be heard that they usually aren’t listening. So no matter how good your elevator pitch, there’s a good chance it really won’t be heard. Make the most of the situation by being a great listener, learn what they do, what they want/need and how you can help them. That how you can open their door to you the next time.
Play to your weaknesses – the problem isn’t follow-up. The problem is building relationships is more that a 1 step process and most of us don’t have a step 2 and step 3 and so on. There’s nothing to follow up until all the steps have been completed. When you meet someone, during the conversation decide what step 2 is, confirm and schedule it with them, then put that on your calendar. The probability of you taking that step is much greater.
Don’t hang on to business cards – I agree, I agree, I agree. Stacks of business cards create a false sense of security. Do something with them or throw them away. If you are targeting your networking, you are not going to come home with that many anyway.