The Best Handful of Tips 28 –
The Art of Networking
Networking is essential to build new business relationships and generate new opportunities.
In today’s business world it’s often not what you know but who you know that counts the most.
Try to connect people you feel have some value to each other and when you do this you are networking.
The five best tips for business networking
Join groups that interest you
There are three main types of grouping.
First, the professional and business type groups – professional societies.
Then there is the hobby, sporting, educational and religious types of grouping.
Thirdly, there’s the electronic Internet which can connect people from all over the world.
Join groups that appeal to you and make an effort to contribute to the group. Enhance your life with friends and contacts.
Get known by making a contribution
Join in activities and help organise events. Take office and contribute to the group and gain respect.
Go out of your way to help others. Generosity is an attractive quality and it is something specially that people will remember about you.
Move around at social events and talk to many people. Show you are interested in others and ask open-ended questions. “How is your family doing?” “Where did you grow up?” “How can I help?”
Make an effort to improve your listening skills. Don’t talk too much. Become a good listener.
Follow up fast
If you say you will do something to help someone, do it as soon as possible.
Respond to any referrals you are given as soon as you can. Keep in touch and let them know how the new connections are going. Your contact will feel grateful their contacts were useful and admire you for seizing the opportunity.
Collect and file business cards or use an electronic filing system. You must be able to make contact quickly if and when required.
Keeping a diary can be a valuable tool and can bring you rewards when you need names, dates and specific details.
Jot down notes about people so you can quickly establish a rapport with them next time you meet. “Keen on sport.” Has a family of three boys.” “Born in Australia.”
Groups should meet on a regular basis to reinforce contacts and to refresh relationships.
Business networking is successful when groups of like-minded business people recognise, create and act upon opportunities and go out of their way to help each other.
Who you know is more important than what you know so fortify your life with friends and contacts.
“A wise person knows everything, a clever one, everybody.”
Source: “Secrets for New Managers” first published by Moss Associates Ltd., New Zealand (www//mossassociates.co.nz) and Cengage Learning Asia, Singapore. Also available as an e-book from Amazon.com and from the VitalSource Bookshelf.