Networking in and outside of the organisation is becoming an increasingly important managerial skill. In simple terms, networking involves developing and activating relationships to increase business, enhance your knowledge and expand your influence.
Below are some invaluable tips to help you effectively network with others:
- Make a great first impression
Smile, make eye contact, have a confident handshake and show a genuine interest in the people you meet. These are some of the things you can do to make a good first impression. Remember you have exactly one chance to make a good impression!
- Don’t Be “The Salesman”
Networking events are not the ideal place for the hard sell. Trying to sell can make you look desperate and is not the way to build successful business relationships. Consider what customer information would you want to capture and why and how would you capture this information?
- Always follow up
Timely, relevant follow-ups are one of the keys to successful business networking. Just meeting someone once will rarely bring you business. You have to repeat the contact, by email, face to face, pick up the phone, just make sure that you follow up and keep contact.
- Make a note
Take a pen and jot down any notes about a contact as soon as you’ve finished talking with them. Do not just try and remember. You will forget key things about that person and what kind of package they may be interested in.
- Listen, I repeat Listen!
Successful networkers listen more than they speak. Being a good listener is an often overlooked skill but vital in eliciting useful information.
- Be prepared
Many networking events have a list of attendees. Go through them, familiarise yourself with who is going to be there, do your homework. There might be people on the list you feel you must proactively talk to which will help you plan your approach.
For more information around our networking course, please click here