The art of networking cannot be mastered just like schmoozing over cheese platter or exchanging business cards, but it requires a lot of skills. When done skilfully, networking will not only open the doors for new job opportunities but will also help in getting new clients.
Power Tip 1: Give Before You Receive
One of the biggest networking mistakes people make before they make up a good relationship is they ask for a favour. One cardinal key for a successful networking is give before you can get.
Seeking for favours too early can risk your relationship or break your bonding. It is safer to wait for the right time to ask and better to establish yourself well. So think like a bank network where have to make deposits before withdrawal.
Power Tip 2: Ask for a Strategic Introduction
If you wish to connect yourself with the person, you may contact them through social networking sites such as FaceBook, Twitter or LinkedIn. You may even find someone close who is in contact with them.
You can explain the contact about your interests and the passion you have towards the work and can suggest to assign you for an upcoming event. If you can find it, a third party might give you a powerful edge that makes you stand out and lend you some credibility. More is the credibility, more is the trust posed in you which will prove that you’re worth for the job.
Power Tip 3: Don’t Just Collect Cards
The main thing, to be focused on networking, is not on beefing up your contacts because you’re going for quality but not quantity.
Misner recalls an incident with a young woman who proclaimed to be good in networking. But all she did was entered all the info into a database from the business cards she and her partner amassed. Misner is a firm believer of doing six things a thousand times but not thousand things six times.
Ferrazzi recommended creating an action plan for every professional goal you have. It may either be landing in a new job or building up your client base. Make a list of people who may help you reaching the goal. It may be your friends, co-workers, people you’re hoping to meet and just follow them online.
Also, mention why each person is important and in what way they will help you on a scale of zero to five.
Power Tip 4: Follow Up — and Then Follow Up Again
After getting into a new connection, many fail to maintain that relation and maintain the relation is the most important strategy. The strategy followed by Kim Marie Branch-Pettid, C.E.O and president of LeTip international, a business networking and referral organization is following the conversation with the person of interest and jotting down their potential on the scale of 1 to 10. The person, who scores 7 or above, is immediately noted, and Branch adds a brief note about them. The very next day she sends an email to the individual saying that she enjoyed the conversation the other day and wish to offer them work for which they were noted.
In order to make the relationships robust, you need to ping your network on a regular basis. Do not forget to maintain the connection. Also, create a schedule for every action you do. The depth of your interaction depends on the strength of your relationships. For casual connection, the occasional facebook comment might suffice and for deeper ones, frequent emails and meet up will do.
Power Tip 5: Suss out Your Contact’s Passions
Before you would like to meet someone, you must do some brief research or some study about them. It might be about their interests or the awards they’ve received. By doing so, it will project your uniqueness and interest you have towards that person.
Power Tip 6: Deepen Your Network Pool
Similarity within a group helps in maintaining a good contact. People with similar thoughts are more comfortable to connect by nature. But diversity is a key in growing a strong personal network.
So stand out from a pack and seek out for a set of different individuals who would introduce you to a brand new society. You’ll gain access to potentially influenced people whom you would never meet.
For example, in an organization of women, it’ll be strange for a man to join but that person will be remembered for his work towards the development of women.
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Power Tip 7: Don’t Overly Pimp Your Profile
If you are a LinkedIn user and you’re accepting invites from everyone, then you’re putting your reputation in danger. Your LinkedIn contacts are a reflection of you. You shouldn’t accept invites from strangers other than the person whom you’re interested in. Likewise, you should only reach out to the person via LinkedIn or mail through it only if you have good contact. Otherwise, it is better to go through personal email or letter.
Power Tip 8: Seek Common Ground
There is a shortcut in developing a new relationship: Figure out what you and the other person have in common. It might be anything whether you both were in the same school or both like the same sport. This may help to build up the conversation. This may be initiated even by you rather than waiting for that person to open up. So don’t be afraid to ask personal questions.