Networking is easy. Just get out there and meet some people! Yeah right.
Networking is an essential part of business whether you’re looking for a job or just trying to beef up your contacts list and unfortunately, many people are doing it wrong. If you’re not networking efficiently you’re simply wasting your time and spinning your wheels.
Here are a few tips for ensuring you’re getting the most out of your networking efforts.
Do you have an objective? – The number one networking mistake is to go into it without an objective. Are you looking for a job? Do you need more business contacts?
Choose a few networking goals and keep them in mind every time you meet someone new. After a few minutes of conversation you’ll figure out what category they may be helpful in.
Are you a selfish networker? – Networking isn’t just about what others can do for you, it’s also about what you can do for others. Everyone who considers you a “useful” contact now might return the favor someday, or at least refer you to someone else. Selfish networking will get you a reputation as such.
Do you think outside the networking event? – Contrary to popular belief, the best places to network aren’t always prearranged networking events. Consider heading to a restaurant known to be frequented by people in your industry, or attend a conference on the fringes of your field. Expanding your networking bubble is the fastest way to useful contacts.
Are you following up? – The #1 rule of networking is to follow up. Never, ever give out a card and hope for a response – if you meet someone you’d like to talk to more be sure you get their information!
Follow up (phone call OR email) the day after your meeting and suggest another follow up. Meeting for coffee, a phone chat”¦whatever makes the most sense. Just get a commitment!
About The Guest Author: Ryan is a product manager at BizShark.com, with 5 years experience in online marketing and product development. In addition to web related businesses, he also enjoys the latest news and information on emerging technologies and open source projects.
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