Networking with others is incredibly important in many different professions. In fact, 80% of professionals believe that networking is important to career success, and 70% of individuals report being hired at companies where they have a connection. However, networking can often be difficult and even anxiety-inducing. But there are certain networking tips that can make the process of meeting others and building relationships with them easier. In this article, we’ll cover the top 5 networking tips to help you connect with other professionals.
The Top 5 Business Networking Tips and Techniques
- Build Personal Connections – While it may seem simple, one of the best networking tips is to build real, genuine connections with other individuals. Try to engage with people on an honest, human level first. Do you have any shared interests? Are there topics you can bond over? It may help to think about it as if it is a blind date. Don’t take over the conversation, and try to make the other person feel like you are genuinely interested in them and what they do.
- Don’t Sell – Similar to building personal connections, don’t jump into a sales pitch with each person you meet. If all you talk about is your business or the work that you do, nearly everyone you come across will get bored or move on quickly. Simply focus on starting a conversation with each person first to get to know them better. This often opens the door for you both to discuss what you do and where you work.
- Choose Your Events Wisely – Another important piece of networking advice is to choose the events you attend wisely. There are many people who go to as many events as possible in an effort to maximize their exposure, but that might not be the best strategy. Instead, you should figure out exactly what your intentions are, and determine the people you want to meet, then choose your events from there. This will ensure that you don’t exhaust yourself or become ineffective, and it can also lead to making deeper, long-lasting connections with the right people.
- Be Prepared and Curious – Just like not selling, no one wants to start a conversation with someone who is solely focused on themselves. So, prepare ahead of time before networking events—especially if there’s a list of attendees—and think of questions you can ask others. Being curious about other individuals and what they do is a great way to connect with them, form a bond, and make them feel like they are seen.
- Find Ways You Can Help Others – Another one of the best professional networking tips is to find ways you can help others. Networking isn’t all about you. Instead, it’s usually a connection that is beneficial to both parties, so find out what you can do to assist each person you meet. It can even be as simple as putting them in touch with another contact. This will show them that your interest in them is genuine, and can lead to long-term relationships.
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