Basic Networking Tips that People Have Forgotten
Need some networking tips?
You’d be surprised to know that a lot of young professionals today still don’t know how to network. Exchanging business cards is only half the battle. Solidifying that connection is crucial.
Here are six of my networking tips that you should always remember during and after you meet someone important.
Networking Tips You Should Remember: Show Up Early and Stay Late Just to be Sure
Being early will show that you are dependable and that you want to be there. When you show up early to an event it gives you a chance to talk to more people who are arriving after you. You will be able to catch more conversations this way and get the word you would like out there. By staying late to a networking event you can talk to a few that interest you.
Networking Tips You Should Remember: Focus on Fostering a Connection, Not a Job
If the person you are chatting with thinks you only want a favor from them, they’re not going to want to listen to you. Instead of trying to slip them your business card from the get go, it’s important to get to know the other person first.
For example, try to start a conversation using these polite topics:
- Educational background
- Geographical upbringing
- Career goals
- First jobs
- Common hobbies
- Interesting industries
Avoid talking about controversial issues, like politics, law, social justice, etc. Unless you’re at an event that fosters a safe environment for these types of topics, I would advice against it.
You will want to build a friendship with this person, if not make a friendly impression. It doesn’t matter if the person you’re talking to has nothing to do with the field you’re in: they might know someone who is!
Networking Tips You Should Remember: Listen and Pay Good Attention to the Conversation
Are you good at giving others your full attention? I mean, really good? Listening is a crucial skill to have, and it’s something not many people are good at. Most of the time, when someone else is talking, we listen to the first couple of minutes, but then zone out the rest of the time.
The reason you want to avoid this type of behavior is because people can tell who is listening, and who’s not. Those who provide their full attention demonstrate it in the following ways:
- Open body language and gestures
- Inquisitive questions
- Giving feedback
- Deferring assumptions
You need to remember that now’s not the time to be making judgements on other people.
You need to listen to their ideas and politely converse over what they talk about. Don’t just change the subject out of the blue.
Finally, do not just act like you are listening, make sure you make eye content and are paying attention. Make sure you are making the people you are talking to feel important.
When talking to others make sure you do not take control of the conversation. Instead, listen and give your opinion. Taking the extra time to listen may help you and your business in the long run.
Networking Tips You Should Remember: Get out of Your Comfort Zone If You Want To Shine
Growing up you were probably told not to talk to strangers. Well, that’s a rule you have to throw out the window at any networking event. In the professional world, you’ll have to learn how to walk into a room and own it.
Shy people, listen up. As nerve wrecking as it is to walk up to a stranger and start a conversation, you have to do it. So the next time you’re at a networking event, start a conversation with at least one unknown person.
A networking event is a great opportunity to practice meeting new people. The stakes are relatively low and you’ll most likely be surrounded by people in the same level as you. There’s no reason to be nervous, and chances are everyone else is just as nervous to meet you. Just be friendly and engage them in a conversation. And who knows, you might get a contact card out of the whole thing.
But I guarantee that you’ll feel accomplished and confident after talking to three or four new people. Again, this is great preparation for meeting important people in the future. Socializing is part of the professional world, that’s just how it is.
When you have a business that you need to promote, then you’ll spend a lot of time meeting new people. Getting help from others can help you with the lift off of your company. Never feel like you can not ask others for help because in the business world this happens every day.
After all, unless you ask, the answer is always no.
Networking Tips You Should Remember: Ask Great Questions and Leave a Good Impression
When you meet new people, you want to leave an impression so that they remember you. An easy way to do that is to ask great questions.
Whether you’re listening to one person, or are attending a conference, there will be opportunities to ask questions. Make sure you take advantage of that. In a big room full of people, sometimes asking a question is an easy way to make yourself stand out.
Another great opportunity to ask great questions is during one-on-one conversations. If the person you’re talking with is dealing with a conundrum as work that you might be able to help them with, ask them about it. Asking questions is a great way to problem solve. Chance are, the other person could use a fresh perspective on their work problem.
Remember, when you ask questions you’ll be more likely to gain contacts. It will help you get to know others. Getting to know others will help you and the other person feel better about the conversation. Then maybe the relationship will follow.
Networking Tips You Should Remember: Whatever You Do, Follow Up With an Email
At the end of a networking event, or any professional meeting, it’s important to keep the names and contact information handy. In you have a bunch of business cards, make sure you keep them somewhere safe.
Also, if you have any notes that you made during the event, make sure you go over them and re-write them if they’re not legible.
Wait about a week later and follow up with them via email. If you’re emailing an interviewer, thank them for their time and let them know that you’re eager to be a part of that team.
Follow up with people you meet at networking events also. Even if you just email them or invite them to lunch it does not matter. A small gesture of acknowledgment will let them know you remember them, which leaves a great impression.
Final Thoughts on Networking Tips
Following these six networking tips will ensure that you know what you are doing. But don’t stop there. Look for more networking tips so that you’re prepared before going out to you next networking event. Get out there and start networking to build a better future for you!