Recently at ABNG North, Daniel asked us “How do we build relationships?”. While the topic is pretty vast and can contain all sorts of ideas, the topic of networking and how to network effectively kept coming up. It’s one that plagues even the most seasoned social butterflies, especially with the myriad of meetups and events on the ‘net nowadays.
A friend in a different group actually wrote up this list of valuable tips on how to network properly, as he saw a great need for some guidance to new folks joining his local chamber. I saved this list with the intention of sharing it with a few friends, but after yesterday’s meeting realized it should be posted right here on the ABNG site for all to enjoy.
So here you are, great tips for networking to build relationships. Special Thanks to Billy Downs of BF Borgers for this great list.
NETWORKING AT AN EVENT 10 TIPS
Communication is a two-way street. There is no bigger turn-off than someone who loves to hear the sound of their own voice. Listening, and learning the art of it, is a habit worth forming. It is through true listening that one is able to ask the right questions and make a memorable impression that will lead to good follow ups, an increased ability to connect others, and stronger relationships.
2. Being Curious
If you want people to respond, be curious about them, what they do, what they care about, what’s important to them. Ask questions. You’ll learn how you can connect them and how you can help them grow their business. Why? Being listened to feels so much like being loved that people can scarcely tell the difference. And you model that for them, and 90% of the time they’ll get curious about you.
3. Getting To Know The Organizers At Networking Events
Both introverts and extroverts love this strategy. When you attend a networking event for the first time, know who the organizers are beforehand. Seek them out immediately and after introductions and expressing your appreciation, say, “This is my first time here, who would be the best people for me to meet tonight?” You’ll also receive an influence bonus if the organizer introduces you around. –
Networking is not easy for everyone. It can be downright terrifying. What puts one at ease is a nice smile. It welcomes others to either want to smile back or say hello. Once a person is at ease, a level of comfort is created. A simple smile can go a long way to opening the door to conversation, connection and possibly more.
5. Talking To More Than One Person In The Room
Good networkers will talk to many people in the room, not just one or two. They have a natural knack for sharing just enough information and understanding the ebb and flow of the networking conversation. There is a natural point where the conversation wants to end on its own; they recognize these moments, acknowledge them, wrap up the discussion and move on. They will reach back later if need be.
6. Not Focusing On What Others Can Do For You
When people say you should network, what they mean is you should talk to others. The best way to network is to be interested in other people, ask them about what they do and how you can help them. Don’t focus on what they can do for you, but focus on them. People love to talk about what they are interested in, and it’s a great way to get to know them.
7. Connecting Others Together
We know the fortune is in the follow-up and you must listen attentively to what people need to help them… but great networkers know how to connect others with each other. People don’t forget those who help bring them business and help solve their problems. Being a connector is a great way to build a loyal tribe of people who will help you when you need to “cash in” your relationship currency.
8. Leaving Them Wanting More
The best networkers give instead of sell. When I walk away from a connection where someone has given me value for my time, I do not forget them. Giving includes listening, empathizing and sharing. The best networkers make their connections about the other person — not themselves
9. Being Consistent
Great networkers are always networking. Professionals who pursue networking only when they need something (e.g., a new job) typically don’t generate the same results as those who network continually and consistently. To raise visibility, network frequently. Create a reputation as a dependable contributor someone who engages and shares — not just when a goal is trying to be achieved.
10. Staying Patient
Networking is simply making professional friends and acquaintances. Just like a friendship or romantic relationship, getting to one another takes time. Reach out to new contacts and follow up if you need to, but don’t force the relationship to develop at a particular pace. Successful people are busy and they may misinterpret your eagerness as an ulterior motive.
11. Following Up …I always try to achieve more here is an extra.
It’s not about just forging a relation, it’s about fostering it. And the best networkers succeed at it by following up with people. They add value in their follow-ups. Whether it is introducing them to a new contact, sharing relevant articles, being a shoulder to cry on, or sharing pitfalls and inspirational moments, they keep in touch with people.
Good luck at your networking and try the steps above and you will see you will get better results for your time and efforts.