Once you understand what is networking and why you should build your professional relationships and network, it is time to learn and put your best foot forward.
Sharing tips for you to take best out of your networking exercise.
#1. Focus on yourself.
You are the product. A lot of people think networking is about their business or brand. In networking people respond to people. People do business with people. All you need to do is believe in yourself and work on your personal brand.
#2. Focus on building relationship.
What you do the moment you enter the networking room? Do you look for someone to talk to and immediately start selling? Did you try to find out if the person is interested in you?
Networking is not about hard selling. So, don't start selling the moment you meet someone. Rather, you should focus on the people you meet, strike a conversation and make it interesting and useful. Remember people will not care for you until they know you care.
Only once they know you and like you, then only they will be interested in what you do. And, then, one day they will refer you. It is a process that pays off in long as well as short term.
#3. Know and write your networking goals.
You would be surprised how networking can help you achieve your business goals no matter what business or profession you are in.
First, write down your business goals or professional goals.
Second, list your networking goals.
Examples of some of the goals are –
- Learning & development.
- Find like minded people.
- Build & grow your business network.
- Grow business.
- Build your support system.
Third, write down your networking goals.
- Why you should be networking?
- How building, maintaining and leveraging particular relationships will help you achieve
- How much time and resources you need to invest in networking.
#4. Prioritize networking
Once you have clarified the goals, next step is to prioritize networking. A lot of people make mistake of taking networking as the last priority only when it is urgent.
Make it a priority and see how it will help you right in the moment you need it. It takes time to build relationships network of trustworthy people.
#5. Don't create a leaky bucket.
People are constantly making new relationships, but are losing out on old ones. Existing relationships are far more important than new ones. Once you build a relationship, it has a lifetime value. Keep focusing on existing relationships.
#6. Discover what kind of networking works for you.
Networking doesn't work in one particular way. Most successful networkers understand their personality - their strengths, their weakness, their goals, and find ways how to network so that it produces value.
#7. Stay in touch with your most important relationships.
Given that you have limited hours in a day to work, you definitely can't meet everyone. So, you need to be strategic in where you need to invest your time. List down your most important relationships and stay in touch with them on regular basis.
#8. Add value to your relationships.
When I say add value, i mean that you offer help, advice, resources in your area of domain without expecting anything in return. This will speak volumes about you and your work.
#9. Ask for referrals from your customers in your network.
You did a good job, committed and adding more value to their work. Don't shy away from asking for referrals. At most, they might refuse you. That's totally fine. But, by not asking you are letting go a big opportunity. Make a list of your customers and start asking.
#10. Do a pro-active follow up.
Reach out within first 24 hour of your generated referral. People are busy. You may need to try calling more than 2 times. But, it is you who want business. If you are not thick skinned, you can't do business.
#11 . Step UP. Start building a network.
Once you get pro at networking, start building your network. Surround yourself with valuable and trustworthy people. Start adding value to their lives. Very soon, your network will become a safety net which will bring business, money and success.
Paritosh Pathak International is dedicated to help professionals and businesses achieve credibility, success and money through the power of strategic networking.