Networking may come easier to some than others, but it is an essential way to build relationships for a long-term investment. We live in a connected world, making networking an essential way to gain professional opportunities. People like to do business with people they know and trust. If you are curious about the preparations and expectations that come along with networking, here are four things to know.
Networking is Constant
Every person you meet could lead to a potential network opportunity. Networking never stops, so be ready to make a good impression. Be ready to interact with anyone at anytime. You never know who you may run into to network with, it could even happen at the grocery store.
Actively engage in conversations - you’re searching for inspiration, knowledge, and advice in every person you meet. Find a topic of interest to help connect and build an even better, more relatable relationship. It is easier to remember someone if that person is connected to something else, for example, with a similar interest. It is also important to remember good conversation comes from being a good listener.
It is important to understand the power of communication and relationships. It is difficult to have a relationship without communication. After meeting someone at a networking event, connect with him or her again. A good way to do this would be via email or through social media, like LinkedIn. Message them along with comment on posts to stay engaged and help continue to build the relationship. This will grow your networking database even more.
Tip: Gather business cards at network events so it is easier to connect with those your meet.
Meet People Through People
When meeting someone new, take the time to make a real connection. The person you meet has hundreds of other connections that may be relatable to you, and likewise. Ask contacts and people you meet, selectively, if they know anyone that may be able to help you. The goal of networking is to not only meet people but to tap into the network of the people you meet as well.
All the best!
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