It is no secret networking is imperative in today’s world of business. Sometimes, “who you know” trumphs “what you know” in business. Networking is a proven method to achieve success. Networking allows you to reach your target market and helps you stay relevant in your perspective business field. The following are ten proven strategies for obtaining the optimum success with your networking experience.
Networking can be used internally or externally. You must determine your target market(s). Then you must strategically make plans to introduce yourself and interact with your target market(s). Join professional groups and/or attend events which will allow you to interact with these persons.
2. Be knowledgeable
Most everyone appreciates and respects a knowledgeable or insightful person. In business, knowledge is power and influence. It is vital that you are knowledgeable about relevant topics related to your business field. You should subscribe to magazines, read books, follow news stories, and know current laws as it relates to your business.
3. Connect on a personal level
Find something personal you have in common with the person(s) within your target market(s). Initiate conversations involving these personal topics (i.e. hobbies, mutual friends/associates, family, etc.) This allows relationships to develop more naturally.
4. Be kind, courteous, and enthusiastic
Always be polite, smile, shake hands firmly, make eye contact, and extend “thank yous” when needed. Although this is often taken for granted, these common courtesies are often overlooked. Being kind, courteous, and enthusiastic can make a lasting impression and convey sincerity.
5. Give back
Share tidbits of information that you feel others can use. Sponsor events and/or conduct seminars involving topics within your business that can benefit others.
6. Be a good listener
Do NOT do all of the talking. Allow others to speak. Let them fully express their thoughts and opinions. In doing this, you can gain invaluable insight. You can use this information to determine an effective approach in presenting your product or services.
7. Extend professional respect and command professional respect
Acknowledge and praise any professional achievements and expertise. Be sure to mention some of your own accomplishments, experience, and/or education. Great business relationships can develop from developing mutual professional respect.
8. Use available resources and technology
Professional resume writer and web conferencing services are just a couple of the many invaluable resources that can be used in networking practices. A professional resume writer can be used to make a good introduction of yourself. Web conferencing services are great tools that can be used to enhance communications.
Timely follow-up is imperative. Use your calendars as reminders for important dates. Often times if you fail to follow-up timely, you may miss a business opportunity.
10. Never stop networking
Remember networking is necessary at all levels of business and career development. If you want to grow and succeed, you must always continue to network.
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