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News & Features - July 2012

Networking

Wednesday 4th July 2012

networking

Networking is an important aspect of everyday business and can give rewards to those who are trying to forge ties or those loooking for work.

Try to be focused - be specific on what you actually want to get out of the event. Who do you want to meet, the type of conversation you wish to have and above all the final outcome. Going to a network event without correct preparation is a waste of time, bring business cards, be forward thinking but above all be positive. Your ideal goal is to connect with people who can make a difference. The event must be right for you, if you want to forge links with certain professionals then make sure the event is right. Try to have some focus areas – areas where you can come into a conversation and one that will attract attention. Do you have a product that might benefit someone there? Do you know someone who can help someone else? It’s these things that help.

Don’t expect great results all the time – sometimes what you want to accomplish does not work out, be realistic and have low expectations. Expecting a certain level of results puts even more pressure on you and can make you have a rigid approach and seem pushy as this tends to put people off.

Be confident - Once you are at an event, remember to talk to strangers and engage in conversations that may help with your project. It’s amazing how many people go to business networking events only to stand in a corner with a drink or food or talk only to their friends and who they know. The nature of networking well requires us to go beyond our comfort zone and talk to new people.

Try to think how others are thinking - Have you ever been to an event where you are having a conversation with someone and they are completely not interested in you simply because of your job title? Well this might sound strange but it is true. We all want to rub shoulders with CEO’s, Directors, Managers etc but remember that these people only want to be in company with their own kind. Unless you have an angle to come in with, they will likely ignore you. What can I say to them that will prick their ears? It’s all about the buzz word. Think of a buzz word that will get their attention. So in your conversations, not only guide it toward what you need but also consciously listen for how you can help. Don’t be a networking stalker – have conversations that really count. Don’t walk around collecting free stuff that gives a bad impression.

Appearance – Look professional – appearance is everything. Just like a job interview, you need to look the part. You will get better responses.

Follow up - it’s fruitless to follow all the business networking tips at an event if you don’t put efforts to make the most of it afterwards. Follow up does not mean emailing everyone you met. Remember your focus and prioritize your follow up activities – they can include connecting with people on Linkedin,Twitter, sending emails to people who agreed to provide some kind of information to you, and also emailing people to help them with something.

ngojobs.co.uk

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