There are so many business networking groups that it will soon be possible to spend all your time in networking meetings and never do any actual work! Some groups have training sessions on how to become better at networking – which isn’t any help for people new to the group, or looking to explore different groups to find which works best for them.
- Practise your introduction to make it concise and impressive
- Be different, as being unique makes you interesting to others
- Be prepared to give, not just take – helping others is important
- Integrity, trust and reputation are critical
- Target your activity – not everyone at a networking meeting is your potential customer
- Plan what you do, don’t just go with everything offered
- Make sure you follow-up after the meetings
- Be positive – negativity is not good!
- Be focussed – networking is marketing, it is about selling your products or services
- Remember there’s more to life than networking…
There are all sorts of resources online to help you develop your networking skills – but this article is different in looking at networking from a psychologist’s perspective, rather than a networking group’s point of view – which is, after all, aimed at getting you to sign up to their group!
And the most important quote? “The key to networking well is to ask open-ended questions and give other people the chance to talk about their work or the pressures they face” – because then they will tell you what they need, so you can solve their problem. Simple, really….