Tips to Give Your Networking Skills A Boost
Whenever you go to a party or attend a conference, there is always one thing in common: meeting new people. And while you are socializing, you may either exchange business cards or perhaps connect with them via social media as well. It is very prevalent these days for people to connect via LinkedIn for expanding their business horizons. However, sometimes these connections fade out if you don’t try to reach them out proactively.
Diversity in businesses keeps changing every day, but there is again, one thing in common, i.e., networking. Either you are looking to hire an employee, seeking a partnership, or expanding your venture, it can’t happen overnight if you do not reach out to people or connect with them proactively. Hence, running a business without people is like creating a plethora of illusions. You cannot always be the one-person army to manage all the operations; remember, you can never build a castle alone.
People do business with people they know. If you visit a coffee bar, you will see random people talking to each other, and the first thing they inquire after the meeting is about their profession. If they think that the person they meet can be a valuable connection, they exchange contacts. But, to be honest, it isn’t as easy as it looks, and following up with your social relationships is not a walk in the park.
Why Is Networking Important?
So, by now, we know that a good network is the core of every business. It offers job leads, new opportunities for partnership or investment, advancement possibilities, and chances of personal improvement and growth. It allows business owners and entrepreneurs to connect with experienced individuals and get an opportunity to learn from them. It can be a random person at a conference or meeting. These small interactions can provide insights into different aspects of business and how you can improve them.
All of us must have gathered a pile of business cards that we have received from random people. The marketing trend is changing, and promotional items have replaced the business cards. People are now exchanging stuff that will be useful for a person like a pen or flash drive. It is the same trend everywhere, and to promote your business, availing promotional products in NZ is no big deal either.
Effective communication is directly proportional to your networking skills. If you are considering ways to boost your skills, here is how you can ace your networking skills.
- Connect with Your Colleagues
Your workplace is not just a desk and a computer, but it is more than that. One of the most acceptable ways to refine your networking skills is to start at your workplace. Your colleagues have a diverse background and working experience. Connecting with them may help you in your current career or aid in transitioning to a new one. Workplace connections can help you find a referral, better job opportunity, and practical training. Your supervisors can write a recommendation letter, or your manager can let you know of a job opening in another department. You do not need to deliver a speech to develop a network; it is just as simple as starting a conversation in the break room. Talk to your colleagues, know about their professional history, work experience, and how they have made it till here.
- Prefer Quality Not Quantity
Handing out your business card or any other product with your business information on it is no less than playing poker. You take up every chance that you come across. Instead of knowing a dozen people try knowing two or three people. Knowing a dozen people is not networking if it does not positively contribute to your professional or personal life. While you are out there looking for new connections for your business. Ensure that you are reaching out to the right people that can be beneficial for your business. Do not work the entire room, but few meaningful connections can go a long way.
- Avoid Making It All About You
Remember, you are not the only one seeking to develop a network. Every other person you see connecting with people is looking for a connection that can go both ways. Meeting new people exciting, but do not make them feel that you are promoting yourself. Let them know the ways you can be helpful and listen to what they have to offer. Keeping track of the contacts is another way to work your way forward. But do not hold this connection one-sided. Make it a give and take relation or something of mutual benefit.
- Put Your Resources to Use
Being part of a professional network is not a daunting task to maintain today. With technology at your fingertips, you can connect with anyone you want. Use can use social media platforms to search for like-minded people. The internet can be a valuable resource to create and cultivate more contacts. You can also relink with your old friends working in the same line of work as yours. Research about all the potential connections in your area or your field and reach out to them.
- Do Not Ignore the Invitations
Socializing has always been the best resource for creating networks and knowing people outside your fields. If someone invites you to their company event, avail that opportunity instead of ignoring it. Attending such events can open many doors to meet with people from different lines of work, and you might find the best resource person for your company.
- Have an Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch means those persuading words that can make other people take an interest in your business or at least visit your webpage. Practicing your elevator pitch can make it easy to start a conversation with people your meeting for the first time. While introducing yourself to others, try to sound energetic and persuasive, subtly share your skills, mention your goals, and exchange contacts.
- Connect on The Move
If you are traveling through train or taking a flight, you can make connections on the move. You can talk and know the person sitting next to you. A study says that spontaneous business discussions make people feel good about making work-related connections.
Strong networking skills are essential in the development of a business. Try to identify the people that you want to connect with and plan a monthly lunch to talk and broaden your network. Ensure that you offer them value during a conversation; ask about their interest and accomplishment. Acknowledge them through a call or compliment them with a token of appreciation for their time. You may always explore the professional connection platform like LinkedIn to search for more connections and add value to your network. Participating in board or panel lectures based on your expertise and experience during conferences can boost your confidence, communication, and networking skills in multiple folds as well.