However, when it comes to the best way to make this happen, opinions are all over the place. Having a big Twitter following is fantastic, but many people can attest that it doesn't always translate into new business. Quite simply, online relationships are nowhere near as strong as those you initiate and foster in the real world. Despite what the proponents of our cybernetic future might have you believe, human beings are best able to form a strong bond by meeting face to face.
At the same time, building relationships solely over lunches, coffees, and cocktail parties is, by definition, limited by time and space. Networking is powerful in many different ways. Not only entrepreneurs will feel inspired and motivated after attending specific events or meet ups, but also many exceptional opportunities can occur if they impress potential investors or business partners. Do not forget to be yourself and present your company the way you want other people to see it in order to create honest fundamentals for one potential business relationship.
Approach the networking as any other part of your business. Create a plan with specific goals that you need to follow.
Know when, where and why you are going to an event, what your goals are and what do you want to achieve with your attendance to this particular meet up. As an entrepreneur your time is very important and you must have clear vision of what you are going to spend it on. Cautiously select your options and choose the one that will bring the most advantages to your business. It is widely known that connections come as a result of other connections and as usual the hardest part of the whole network-building process is the start. In order to impersonate your business and yourself it is not enough just to be present, you need to be active, memorable, to provide value to the others with your presence and to make them want to stay in touch with you.
Be ready to impress, to be remembered and desirable for future business relations. So start slow by networking with relatives and friends.
This helps a shy person over the hurdle. Once you acquire a smidge of courage, expand to people who graduated from your alma mater. Your alumni network is a gold mine of connections.
Contacting an alum out of the blue shouldn't feel like a cold call. After all, they joined this network to make -- and take -- calls just like this.
Introverts and inexperienced networkers tend to apologize when asking for help because they believe networking is an imposition rather than an exercise in relationship building. Apologizing makes you look like a novice. Stop it. It showcases a lack of professionalism and confidence. You don't have to apologize for asking for help. You don't have to apologize for wanting to learn more about the person you are talking to. The expectation with networking is that one day you will be in a position to return the favor you are asking for now.
Believe in yourself. Scowling -- any serious facial expression -- is forbidding. People are much more likely to warm to a person who says good morning with a broad smile than to a grump who frowns a hello. Walking up to a group already engaged in a lively conversation and joining in can be intimidating. Even if you are drawn to the discussion, joining it requires some art. That can make a bad first impression and kill the flow of conversation. The best way to ease your way in without causing waves is to smile and listen for a few moments to get the gist of the conversation.
For a shy person, more than for an extrovert, this is networking gold. If you are shy, listening is easier than talking. So become a good listener.
If you let people discuss their experiences and opinions -- and listen with sincere interest -- they will remember that they had a great conversation with you. You need to take advantage of every opportunity.
Here are 17 networking skills to try right now. So start slow by networking with relatives and friends. Tolber asked thoughtful questions and listened intently. Boost your job visibility and reach more highly qualified active and passive job seekers A boosted job also called premium job will be shown ahead of all other similar basic jobs in the job search. Jason's expertise and experience can help you with storytelling, motivation, and pitching your business to media. Many introverted professionals think they have to pretend to be an extrovert for networking situations. When meeting and communicating with new people, we often unintentionally interrupt or cut off someone we just met.
They might not think of it. Very likely, they will offer their card in return. And now you have made a solid, repeatable connection.
So, when you meet new people, use their name immediately in conversation. It will make them feel more comfortable. It shows you are paying attention, and it makes the group seem like a group of friends rather than a faceless mass.
If using this strategy feels manipulative, stop and pay attention to how it feels when someone says your name in a similar situation. Many introverted professionals think they have to pretend to be an extrovert for networking situations. Sure, you do have to make more effort than it takes to stay at home and read. If you are shy and smart, run with that. It can be endearing. Don't try to be something you're not," says Ferrazzi. Anything that gets you out of the house can be networking. Instead of chatting online, join a club.
If you're a gamer, go to a gaming event. Voracious reader? Join a book club. The advantage of mixing networking with fun is that the conversation is easy.