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Networking has become a critical aspect of our personal and professional lives. Its benefits are many and include access to business opportunities, knowledge, ideas and resources whose presence or lack can make all the difference in one’s career. Learning how to network effortlessly and effectively is consequently one of the success ingredients one needs regardless of the niche one is involved in.
Some people naturally have the trait of making the right kind of friends and getting themselves into the right circle without putting much effort. But since it is a skill, even those to whom it doesn’t come naturally, can learn with the right help. Here are some of the ways you can become a professional in networking and land your dream job or contract or anything you want to achieve.
Build strong relationships
People won’t accord you any of the benefits that come with being a trusted friend by just having them on your contact. You need to consciously build a strong relationship with them before any of that. Here, trust is the keyword, and you need time to show them how trustworthy you are.
You achieve this the same way you would build any friendship you have ever had. That means you need to take time to learn about the individual; what their goals and stories are and what they like. Also, give them the chance to get to know you. To do this, you have to keep in touch and spend time with them. If, for example, you are a small business owner looking to win a government contract, take time to nurture the contacts you have from your target government agency and watch business come your way.
To network better, you have to open yourself up to meet the right kind of people. Therefore, staying visible requires you to diversify and attend relevant industry events taking place. There you get to meet and interact with people from where you can build your network. Conferences and summits are the most frequent events to help you stay visible. Depending on your sector, shows and festivals are also important. Remember to also be active on social platforms like LinkedIn.
People remember those that made an impact on them. And chances are they would want to meet you again, and in which case, they would likely want to discuss business. Try to introduce yourself with an anecdote to impress your personality on them. They would be meeting a lot of other people who are also hoping to build their own network, but you want everyone to remember the guy or lady who made them laugh with the way he or she talked about what he or she does.
Have a wingman
Whether you are networking online or at a fashion event, it pays better to go with a friend. That way, they can introduce you to the people they know while you do the same for them. Also, they will sing your praises and speak highly of your company (something you can’t do yourself and which is quite effective if done right).
Anytime you lose touch with a contact, don’t hesitate to rekindle it. You can use the holiday seasons to reach out and take it from there. But you should never come out of the blues to ask for a favour. Take time to warm up to them first.