Do you find yourself hiding behind your computer instead of getting out for some good, old fashioned networking? You’re not alone; most of us would rather hide behind our electronic devices. According to Scott Manthorne, principal and co-founder of Athletes & Executives, “To make an impact on your networking efforts, nothing will beat face-to-face. As we all know, it takes many skills to find that next job or career and two of the most important elements are your skills and who you know.”
Here are 10 tips to help you with your networking efforts.
1. Build a Wish List
Determine what prospects, strategic alliances or centers of influence you would like to develop/create. Write it down, and share it with others. This will help you to better focus on what you want and will allow others to focus on what you are asking for.
2. Work the Room
Have a game plan when you attend a business function. Set a goal of contacts to meet, determine how much time you will spend on this activity, and do it. Connect first… have fun later!
3. Hold onto That Card
Make sure you ask for everyone’s business card. This will give you the opportunity to follow up at a later date.
4. Give to Get
Want to be referred to someone? Then get into the habit of giving them to others. Be consistent and pro-active in developing opportunities for your strategic partners.
5. Thank You Notes
Send a personalized note to everyone you meet. This gesture will set you apart from others and strengthen your relationship with each person you meet.
6. Relationship Building
Invest time to understand other people’s values and goals. People are more likely to do business with those they trust and like.
7. Strategic Alliances
Dominate your market niche by creating alliances with other vendors that service your clients. A good alliance will provide great service to your customer, and will strengthen your value statement.
8. The ‘Power Lunch’
Spend an hour with a connecting partner to better understand each other’s business. Uncover new opportunities for each other, and share your success stories. Knowledge is power!
9. Circle of Influence
Be the individual that “connects people to people.” When you make quality introductions, your strategic alliances will do the same. Get them to talk about you (without asking).
10. Learn from Others
We all need to continue to improve upon our skills. A good alliance will push you to achieve, to study, and to dominate your niche. Be enthusiastic, be energetic, and feed off of each other’s success.