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Everyone knows that networking is useful, but not all of us are actually eager to do it. There are always plenty of plausible excuses like work or home affairs which we would rather attend to than go to an event to meet and exchange business cards with strangers.
Below are several tips on how to find pleasure in networking and enjoy meeting new people.
1) Pay attention to your physical and emotional state. Make sure to get enough sleep before the event. Then, think of all good friends and loyal Clients you have met as a result of networking.
2) Remember that networking will not bring immediate results. Do not expect to close a deal straight ahead. This is possible only if another party knows of your intentions and is willing to co-operate.
3) Find out the topic of the event and get the guest list in advance. If an event is actually aimless, it’s a sure sign that it is not worth going to. Real events are intended to gather people united by some common ideas or looking to hear certain speaker. Networking would bring much more value for those who have some knowledge on the topic or personal opinion on it.
4) Please note that networking is not merely a gathering aimed at collecting business cards, but a beginning of long-lasting relationships. Listen more, talk less. In the end you will be able to decide whether or not you could be useful to someone in terms of your new acquaintance’s hobbies or projects. Do not forget that networking is for knowing people better rather than for finding ways to use people to your own advantage.
5) Define your own term , during which it’s best not to contact your new acquaintance with the business proposals. Normally it would be no less than 6 months. You will be able to know the people better. Social networks are a godsend in this regard as they give a change to do it even without meetings in person. Of course, if you were lucky enough to become close friends during a shorter period of time or your partner approaches you with a business proposal himself, you are not limited in your actions.
6) Skill to listen carefully and at least a slight sense of humour can make you stand out among average networkers. What is more, if your expertise, experience or thoughts on the matter could make life easier for your counterpart, it’s high time you introduced yourself.
7) Mention only those facts from your biography which would be interesting for your new acquaintance. It’s not worth outlining all your virtues and credentials. Deeds are louder than past successes
8) You can show your professionalism by referring to a recent business case where you solved some problem for a particular Client. If, of course, the discussion calls for it.
9) Remember that not everything you say will be apprehended and appreciated by your partner in conversation. Use simple words and phrases, even repeat the most important ones.
10) Express your emotions. By doing this you will stand out in a crowd. Think of the social networks in which simple but emotional post gets much more likes than dry professional facts.
To make all of the above work, keep growing personally, explore new ideas, and discover new interesting people. Devote your time to it, believe in yourself. Your experience and knowledge can be of use to your friend in completely unexpected situation. A second opinion or fresh ideas are sometimes what your new contacts or friends need.