Anyone who thinks that doing good networking is just exchanging business cardas at an event is very wrong.
Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to make real friends at events like these? It's because most people are only interested in talking about themselves. While few are those who are open to listening and making true connections. The great challenge of networking lies on how to create a real and durable connection. Here are some practices that can be useful.
Before starting, it is important to emphasize that the act of networking is a fundamental part of a successful life. Your connections say a lot about you and reflect what you spread out in the world. Plus, good networking allows you to always get closer to the best opportunities when they arise.
Your connections say a lot about you and reflect what you spread out in the world.
In the book "Never Lunch Alone", the authors describe in a very unique way, the “networking idiots”, who are those business card collectors who are always on the lookout for a victim to deliver cards and don't care about establishing relationships.
1. Ask, help, be interested
The key tip for good networking is: Ask. Ask about the person you're talking and grant him your sincere listening. Let the person feel free to talk about themselves and show them how interesting they are.
Another way to get someone's attention is to help. Make yourself available to help with a task or even a kindness. This attitude creates true connections.
2. Say yes. Be open to opportunities
Good networking always starts with a yes. Say yes when someone proposes a next meeting even if it is for presenting their product.
That doesn't mean, of course, that you have to go everywhere by accident. But, rather, to believe that every outing is an opportunity and that each conversation can change lives: both yours and those you are close to.
3. Show yourself to the world and make real connections
True connections are often the ones that will end up giving returns in the future. The more poeple know you and know what you do and how you behave the more oipportunities you will have in the future. People also tend to establish bridges between friends. One that awakens sincere interest in others will keep establishing communication with opportunities. As an example, the words of Roberto Shinyashiki: “You earn much more by being interested in someone than by being interesting to someone.”
4. Don't ignore online and social media tools
We have in our hands some powerful tools to keep in touch: our social networks. Don't give up using them intelligently with whoever you network with. However, be cordial and use the rules of etiquette for these platforms. Here are some useful tips:
- Do not share news that you do not know the origin of;
- Avoid talking about controversial issues;
- Do not share videos with violent content;
- Avoid sending “good morning” messages without introducing a subject;
- Avoid sending religious messages.
A quote Gil Giardelli says: “You are what you share”. So, don't burn your reputaion on social media.
5. Look for events and courses to make friends
Another rule of networking is to look for people you have an affinity with. A great opportunity for this is to search for courses and/or events in your area of interest. You will be able to meet several professionals in you field and end up exchanging valuable ideas about their work and activities.
6. Follow people: don't forget to follow up
Did you met interesting people in an event? Don't forget about them. Make a contact, call for coffee, make yourself available to help. Only in this way can you be genuinely remembered.
It's pretty unpleasant to contact a person only when you "need" him. People dont't like that.
7. Always be authentic and invest in your personal brand
The only way to get attention at big events si by being authentic. Create your own style and highlight your potential.
Our eyes are properly trained to identify any kind of artificial or defensive posture. Don't forget that other people are thinking the same about you. Sparkle in the eye, interest, affection and enthusiasm are feelings that no one can disguise.
We hope these tips help you network more effectively with the people you deal with every day. Each person is unique in the world and can open up a world of possibilities. Including you!
Invest in your personal brand, discover yourself and show the best in you to be someone even more captivating.