OK, all you networkers out there… listen–NETWORKING IS ESSENTIAL to building business!
And, Let’s face it, our work life time is limited. We all balance home and career. And that’s tough. But we need to network in all areas of life. Really, we are all networkers. We can live a “Networking Lifestyle” with a little awareness of how to play the game, not to the Academy Award level of networking, but at a level that shows growth. Networking is easy. We talk to people and meet new people every day. Taking on a networking lifestyle when we need to be out for our brands and companies is easier when we take on a Networking view of life… what is called the Networking Lifestyle that John Kobara shares in his work. with a nod to him… here’s three tips of my own to get you into the Networking groove.
1. Don’t be Afraid to Work the Room
If you’re always on the lookout for the next professional hookup at an event, people will see that, but you can move through a room genuinely. It takes real intention. You must be authentic. Have a reason to be in any room you are in, but don’t let the desperation of collecting business cards rule. Enjoy yourself, be yourself and allow people into that unique space that is only you.
2. Make Real Connections
When you and a fitting, new acquaintance seem attuned, take time to explore how you might help each other out. You must give first to get, and be patient in that role of listening to see where your value is for those you network with. Imagine being in a room and actually listening to people! So refreshing!
3. Build Relationships—not a Database
This is what some people call follow-up. But it’s really gaining ground in relating to other, and it’s building sustaining relationships.This is tough to do. No whimps here!
It means you do the hard work of looking after you top connectors who you’ve had a great start with, and these are who I call networking “hotwires” or gatekeepers… those who you want to give and get with. But start with giving value first. In every conversation, email or phone call, emphasize the genuine value you want to bring. ASK FOR NOTHING… and something always happens in business development!
Networking is a discipline, like rocket science! It has rules, language, icons, tents and these tips will get you started! Be a great student of networking and learn to beat your competition!