How to Network
How to Network - Eight ways to network successfully and have fun doing it.
Most people attend networking events to gain something: job leads, referrals, exposure, connections, opportunities to grow their business.
The key to good networking is to figure out how you can help others in the room.
True networking occurs when there’s an understanding that everyone in the room has equal value. In its purest form, it’s about people enjoying other people, communicating passions and connecting with others who share those passions.
Listen and figure out what others need; connect them with people you think can help, without any designs for personal gain. The most successful networkers build genuine relationships and give more than they receive. They go beyond thinking, “What’s in it for me?” to ask “How can I help?”
Eight ways to network successfully and have fun doing it:
Start networking before you need to:
Be aware that people can sense when someone is only out to help themselves. By networking when you have no ulterior motive, you can begin to build relationships and a reputation for being generous rather than self-serving.
Have a plan:
It is essential that you know what your value is. Before you attend any networking event, get clear on what talents, strengths, skill sets and connections you can bring to the table. Map out what you want to talk about, particularly how you may be able to help other people, either now or in the future.
Forget your personal agenda:
Make it your goal to be open, friendly and honest, and to forge connections between people who may be able to help each other. Generosity is an attractive quality and it’s something special that people will remember about you.
Never dismiss anyone as unimportant:
Don’t make the mistake of discounting people due to their titles. Someone you meet that you may not see as your equal may have valuable connections or knowledge you’d never learn about if you’d dismissed them.
Connect the dots:
Once you begin to listen to people and learn what they can bring to the table, you’ll start realizing how one person in the room may be able to help another. Make it a point to connect people you feel have something of genuine value to each other. When you go out of your way to make those potentially promising connections, you’re doing your part to make the networking event a success.
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