Few people are born networkers; most of us have to work at it. Networking can be daunting to many, especially when you’re attending an event and you don’t know anyone. With a few tips and practice, networking can help you build your business connections, make new friends and connect people, and boost your confidence.
Here’s a few suggestions from….
Source: 88 Positive Networking Tips by the authors of Work the Pond!, Darcy Rezac, Judy Thomson and Gayle Hallgren-Rezac. You can also sign up for their weekly Positive Networking® Tip — www.workthepond.com
1. A Better Way to Network:
Darcy, Judy and Gayle's philosophy is called Positive Networking® — ‘discovering what you can do for someone else’. It’s about opening a relationship, not closing a sale. When you network this way, it takes all the pressure off – guaranteed.
2. Become a Super Connector:
Great networkers enjoy connecting people. The secret of discovering what they can do for someone else is part of their DNA (Dynamic Networking Ability). When you find out what that something is, it’s not enough to think about it, they do it. ‘Work the Pond!’ calls this high level of awareness.
3. Treat Everyone Like Royalty:
Everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and respect. Avoid rushing to rank your contacts in The Frog Chain. It makes life a whole lot easier than trying to figure who’s who. Besides, one person’s frog may be another person’s prince or princess.
4. The Gentle Art of Conversation:
A key quality of great networkers is their style of conversation. They are focused, listen carefully and are non-confrontational in their style. Some good Chinese advice: Do not remove a fly from your friend’s forehead with a hatchet.
5. Remember me?
Experienced networkers say ‘Nice to see you’ or ‘ Great to see you’. They know it works better than ‘Nice to meet you’. The latter greeting is problematic when that person may respond, ‘We’ve met before.’
6. The Power of Seven:
The minimum number of cards to carry at all times is seven. Most business or association functions have tables set for eight – you will have a card for everyone at your table. But bring more. Remember, you can never have too many cards, only too few. If you forget your cards? Go back and get them – they are that important.
7. Business Guru Tom Peters Calls it A ‘Name Card' for a Reason:
Some folks are reluctant to give out their business card because they think it’s too forward or pushy. Relax. It is just piece of paper with your name and coordinates. But, it’s a key step in The Network Dance: N.E.T.W.O.R.K.®.
8 Meishi Manners:
In Japan the exchange of meishi (business cards) is a high art. A card is presented respectfully with two hands, name facing towards the recipient. The card is acknowledged. It is never taken and casually stuffed in your pocket, without a glance. Treat a person’s card with interest and respect.
9. Smile Power:
Positive Networking starts with a smile. You smile at someone and they smile back. It’s automatic because the brain is hard-wired to function this way. A smile opens the door to friendly communication. It’s your best networking asset. Never leave home without it.
10. Sooner Rather than Later:
In business the best time to exchange cards is when you first meet. Make it a natural part of your introduction so there’s none of the anxiety of wondering when you should do the exchange.
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