Following on from my previous posts, trading knowledge can provide golden nuggets of information.
Networking with Professional groups provides ideas you can access and give opportunities for genuine collaboration with real mutual benefit. Specialist networks offer the chance to develop state of the art thinking: networks across complementary talents can share common problems.
To get started, attending conferences and seminars in your field targets the right people. Start asking questions in the queue for coffee. Exchange business cards and keep in touch.
Tips and Tools
- Do introduce people who you think may have a connection.
- If you are right handed wear your name label on the right lapel and when you shake hands the line of vision travels up the arm to the lapel.
- Follow up conversations with any action points, thank yous, good to meet you within 48 hours if possible.
- Be specific about the introductions that you want. Keep in touch with your network via calls, email, newsletters, meetings. Around 140 people are the ideal number for your network. Too many more and you cannot stay in touch frequently enough.
- Be memorable, image is important. The slob look is out!
- Send articles…I saw this and thought of you.
- Carry business cards: they can start the conversation. Collect business cards sparingly. It is not volume you are after. You don’t want to be accused of meeting, greeting and deleting.
- Ask questions and be curious. People are interested in people who are interested in them. Talking about yourself only is limiting.
- Prepare your 60 second elevator speech and your 3 minute tell me about yourself answer.
- Don’t interrupt two people already talking, wait for a pause. Perhaps offer to get a drink when you are getting yourself one.
Can you afford not to network?
You can see the intention is not to make networking smooth talking but more about creating lasting relationships to help people both personally and professionally; both in the corporate world and the SME market.
It is a skill to develop and practice. Tweet