Updated: Feb 13, 2020
There are many paths to a success story, but these paths all have one thing they all have in common; networking. Networking skills are very necessary, and it is important for one to know how to improve this skill in order to effectively win more customers and possible business partners. According to Forbes, 85% of jobs are filled via networking of some sort; a percentage that should make anyone want to work on their networking skills. Networking skills do not improve overnight and it is usually not a walk in the park for anyone both online and offline, but with constant talking and being considerate to their needs and interests, you can succeed this endeavor. Here are seven tips to help sharpen your networking game;
If it’s an event centered around a specific theme, it will have a ‘who’s who’ list of invitees available beforehand. You should do your research on the people or organizations at the event that interest you. This will allow you to ask more insightful questions and engage in meaningful and serious discussion and not just on the surface discussions with the people you wish to impress.
2. Get the Right Attitude
For you to sharpen your networking skills, having the right attitude is key. Walking up to a total stranger can be very uneasy but you need to get rid of the diffidence and learn to approach people with confidence. This comes back to you doing some research on them because that way you have a base to start and you need to work from that. You also need to learn how to listen and not do the talking alone. Never hesitate to walk up to anyone to start a conversation. What’s the worst that could happen?
3. Add People to Your LinkedIn List
With the advent of social media and platforms like LinkedIn, networking can be done from anywhere you are in the world. You can access organizations like college alumni organization or that of your other contacts to know people more. You should also not shy away from networking parties where you can meet prospective recruiters.
Meet new people and socialize with them. Join your colleagues for social events and learn not to isolate yourself as no man is an island. Staying in touch with them helps keep you in the loop. You never know who’s hiring and a friend is most likely to tell you about opportunities than a total stranger.
5. Be Interesting, Engaging and Innovative
You need to be innovative and creative so that people want to keep the conversation going. Don’t be boring. Always try to bring up new topics to talk about. Be attentive and don’t interrupt people midway. Don’t argue on a certain point to satisfy your ego as this would not project a good image. Do not be afraid to approach people who may seem different from you as you never know what they might have to offer.
6. Quality over Quantity
A lot of people confuse networking with meeting as many people as possible. That’s false. In fact, making a few meaningful connections is all you need. If you can have three to four deep conversations, those people are more likely to remember the interaction than when you have an ‘on the surface’ conversation with everyone in the room.
7. Try to Keep in Contact
If it’s a networking event, don’t forget to exchange business cards with to grow your social network. You can also exchange phone numbers and email ID. Following up with people is worth it and can help open doors to opportunities you would otherwise not have had. Do not be afraid to ask for a person’s business card, phone number or email address but do not disturb with regular emails or calls.
These are 7 tips to help you build a strong network towards that future you have envisioned. Go forth and network!
This article was compiled by Malik Alli