- 87% of Professionals network regularly; to build enduring and long-lasting relationships.
- Networking is all about being ABSORBED/INTERESTED BY OTHER PEOPLE’s LIVES. When you take interest in them, they reciprocate in kind; through experiences, relationships and even job leads.
- Make a Great First Impression, Pay Attention to Little Details and Follow-up as Promised; doing this will ensure your Network works for you, both in the short and long-term.
Networking, as has been observed, is basically about ‘Building Relationships’. It is about connecting with people and leveraging those connections, whether or not there is immediate gain involved.
It is also about;
- Knowing and developing connections which last
- Helping and sharing information with others
- Going out of your comfort zone to find people who you can learn from, and with whom there is mutual understanding.
A 2012 Business Networking Survey has revealed that almost 87% of professionals network regularly. Of these, 95% do it, to build strong and lasting relationships and 90% do it as a way to look for opportunities.
The 13% that did not network, attributed it to a lack of time and being unsure about their ROI!
If ¾ of the working professionals find it important, then there is value is networking and the role it plays in their growth.
Although spoken of rather casually, networking is itself an art that needs to be developed. An awkward conversation and unsure attitude can put paid to any hopes of developing a relation into a long-standing, meaningful one.
Below are therefore few effective Networking Tips that can help you, whether on a one-to-one basis or in a group.
- Networking is all about GIVING and RECIVING
In networking, the law of reciprocity plays a big role; give and at some time you will get back, even if it is not immediate.
- Clarity on what networking does is very important.
* Building Connections
* Helps in sharing knowledge, experience, information and ideas
* Finding people who are genuinely interesting and whom you’d like to know
Networking is not about:
* Explicitly getting a job
* Promoting/selling services o products
* Squeezing funding
* Bagging a donation
* Making friends for favors
Networking should be approached with the right mind set, for it to be productive. If you are artificial, people will immediately see through your sham and the entire purpose of it will be defeated.
- Networking means pushing yourself out of your comfort zone
- Networking is about that first impression that can MAKE or BREAK you.
First impressions comprise of 3 communication methods; words (7%), tone (38%) and body language (55%). Handling the first two well, coupled with a strong handshake can make an impression that lasts a lifetime.
- Networking is also about that FIRST CONVERSATION
* Your Name
* Your relation to the situation
* How you can help others
Therefore, if you are Anna Bradley, and you work as a curator in a renowned art gallery, you can mention this and outline your job profile, as showcasing and selling art of upcoming artists.
Words such as provide, give, help, serve, contribute always strike a chord, and can actually continue the conversation, and invite discussion.
- Networking is about subtly stepping into a conversation, even if you are not invited.
Ask open ended ‘How’ and ‘What’ questions, and that will take the conversation ahead.
- Networking is also about exchanging contact information, through the all-important Business Card
- Pay attention to the little things
* Remember that you too are as important as the person you are interacting with. Don’t act over-confident or arrogant.
* Getting to know the person is important in the first meeting, rather than pushing an agenda.
* Share whatever you can with people. You will get back manifold when the time comes.
* Always praise other people, rather than praising only yourself.
* Talk less, and listen more. If you work this the other way around, no one will attempt to remember you.
- Networking is all about FOLLOWING-UP
Keeping your word shows aspects of your personality that go well beyond words.
- Networking is not just about one-to-one contact
* Contributing to blogs in your area of interest
* Connecting with people in your community through emails or letters about their work.
* Connecting with people through Social Media
Finally, at the end of the day, Networking is all about being humble, attentive and having simple good manners. When you are absorbed/ interested by people, rather than entirely by yourself, especially in today’s world, you will truly stand out!
About the On-Demand Webinar
About the Webinar