“It isn’t what you know, but who you know” is a common statement that really can prove true. The power of networking and meeting the right people should not be underestimated. Everyone has their own approach to networking but here are a few handy tips that could help make it easier:
• Take stock of your contacts– consider everyone that you currently or have past connections with, for example, old school friends, family, friends of friends and their family members.
• Tap into existing networks– there are many groups available on social media, webinars, industry events.
• Make yourself heard– keep up-to-date with the latest industry developments and be sure to comment on them. You do not need to comment on everything but get your voice out there.
• Write down something memorable– when exchanging business cards, write something about the business or person you dealt with, that will help you remember them. Also make sure you always have a business card to give out.
• Keep in touch– ensuring you stay at the forefront of your contacts minds will help them think of you when opportunities arise. Also be patient, proactive and persistent.
• Don’t go for the hard sale– have a conversation to make a connection. Do not just go for a sales pitch, build a relationship. Be authentic and honest.
• Don’t make it all about you– make sure you listen as much as you speak, flatter but do not overdo it. Demonstrate how they will benefit from this relationship.
• Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help– create mutually beneficial connections so you can help each other out. Always remember to thank people for help or for meeting with you.
• Don’t take up too much time– keep conversations friendly, focused, frequent and brief.