More networking equals business success- Here's how
Networking, as I see it, is building contacts with people. It refers to a gathering of influential people in order to form a mutually positive relationship that might possibly be business productive one at some point in time.
Over time, I’ve understood that effective networking creates lasting influence and bonding among people.
When it comes to business, that translates to.. well, better business.
Step up your game, introverts
Now, I can't deny that for a few individuals, the ability to socialize can be a difficulty, owing to the fact that they are introverts.
The workaround? Put yourself on the spot and learn from experience.
Few things are better than good old practice when it comes to improving your networking game.
Isn't social media the 'new thang'?
Social media has its pros & cons.
Though most people think that social media is the most effective platform for networking, face-to-face interaction is still as effective as it gets.
Where does social media lose out, you may ask? Well, it lacks the 'human touch'.
Business connections take time to build, but they are worth it
Having a business connection gives us opportunities to grow, but we have to endow the time required, to create them. There are no shortcuts to a healthy business synergy.
Although I sometimes feel that meeting strangers and acknowledging them can be scary or awkward, this is something we must not shy away from.
An acquaintance lost often translates to an opportunity lost.
Synergies must be mutually beneficial
Build a network of people by keeping an open eye for new chances, but remember that they can only be meaningful only when the relationship is mutually favorable and healthy.
Remember that, new connections can be made through existing connections
New connections can be built either directly or indirectly through contacts. Influencing your own colleagues can be a way of reaching out and developing your business network.
Strong network building among coworkers can brighten up working conditions and positively benefit business.
“Networking gives you the opportunity to face your fears, deal with them, overcome them, and bring out the winner that you have living inside you.”
- Robert Kiyosaki, The Business of the 21st century.
Quick tips on effective business networking
#1 'Genuine' networking should be your goal
Being reliable and building a transparent relationship is the number one networking tip.
# 2 Have a proactive approach
Waiting for the right people to approach you, is not the best strategy.
Reason out your goals, and proactively approach the right people.
# 3 Have a multi-channeled approach
Seeking connections is a lot like marketing; mutli-channel is the best channel.
In essence, you are marketing yourself.
A combination of various online, offline and in-person channels is your best bet to building meaningful connections.
Do not restrict yourself to any specific one.
#4 Make social media your best friend
Be it LinkedIn, AngelList, GitHub or MeetUp, there are tons of tools out there, that will allow you to filter through millions of listings and find the right match for your requirements.
Find the right investor, consultant, employee, or business partner and propose a quick meeting over coffee. Initiate the first step.
#5 Perfect your personal elevator pitch
Take out a couple of minutes on a weekend. and draft your 15 second personal elevator pitch.
Your first impression is, after all, the last impression.
They way you introduce yourself will set the tone for future conversations.
#6 Be an influential resource to others
When your connections know you can be an informative resource they will turn to you for ideas, suggestions, advice, etc.
Right there, is your opportunity to spark an interesting conversation and get to know them better- their interests, personality, professional goals, business objectives, etc.
#7 Pose open-ended questions, and appreciate opinions
Open ended questions express your interest in their opinions and will open grounds for new discussions.
#8 Follow-ups are critical
If there's one thing that's more important than making a connection itself, it is following up with those you have made.
We all have heaps of business cards lying around, that we probably never remember collecting.
3-5 days is the half life of a newly made connection. Make sure to get in touch and discuss mutual interests within this time frame.
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