You go out and network because you’ve been told it’s a proven, effective marketing tool to attract new business. Yet when you network, you don’t get anything out of it. What’s everyone doing that you’re not? What do they know that you don’t?
Professional networking has been around for many years and remains a popular way to market and grow your business. Many attest to networking being the single, most effective activity that has put them in front of more well-connected centers of influence, thereby playing a part in contributing to the endless stream of referrals they receive.
Even still, whether you are a seasoned business owner or a budding entrepreneur, networking can be nerve-racking and ineffective. To help you sort through the madness, check out these 22 basic yet essential hints, tips and guidelines to keep in mind as you navigate the networking circuit.
Repeat after me…
- I will discard my negative attitude before entering the networking event
- I will adopt a servant’s mindset and take a heart-centered approach
- I will refrain from “hard selling”
- I will listen more than I speak and give my attention to the person speaking
- I will refrain from me-centered conversations
- I will ask questions to learn about others
- I will nurture and develop relationships
- I will schedule follow up conversations when I detect synergy
- I will give and ask for referrals
- I will take the time to introduce and connect others
- I will ask for introductions to my ideal “referral partners”
- I will add value when possible
- I will express gratitude to those who help or otherwise take an interest in me
- I will deliver on any promises I make
- I will know my purpose for networking
- I will never discard a person or business as irrelevant
- I will have a 60-second answer prepared to answer “What do you do?”
- I will focus on meeting new people, excusing myself when over-socializing with those I know
- I will welcome others into the conversation
- I will embrace seeming “competitors” at the event
- I will not go over the time allotted for the elevator pitch or 30-second introduction
- I will be authentic
Three common themes woven throughout the list above are to…
(1) build relationships, (2) make it about others, and (3) take responsibility for your own networking success.
© 2014 CERTUS™ Professional Network / Behind The Moon, Inc. All rights reserved.
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