Business 101: Tips For Successful Business Networking
Effective business networking is the linking together of individuals
who, through trust and relationship building, become walking,
talking advertisements for one another.
1) Be Genuine
Too many times we are compelled to make a great first
impression so we put on a show and act like we are someone we
are not. Or… We huddle together with our friend(s) by the bar
and speak to no one. Keep in mind that networking is about
being authentic, building trust and relationships, and seeing how
you can help others.
2) Establish Goals
How many times do you see people wondering around aimlessly at a networking event?
Are they just there to pass the time? It seems as if so many of us are just trying to
“survive” it. Ask yourself what your goals are in participating in networking meetings so
that you will pick groups that will help you get what you are looking for. Some meetings
are based more on learning, making contacts, and/or volunteering rather than on strictly
making business connections.
3) Make the Rounds
Have you ever joined a club only to find out later that your goals are not the same? What
happens more often than not is we simply stop attending. Visit as many groups as
possible that spark your interest. Notice the tone and attitude of the group. Do the
people sound supportive of one another? Does the leadership appear competent? Many
groups will allow you to visit two or more times before joining.
4) Get Involved
Hold volunteer positions in organizations. This is a great way to stay visible and give
back to groups that have helped you. Please note that if you don’t have time in your
schedule to do some extra things for your group, you may want to consider not getting
involved at all. There is only one thing worse than not joining a group – and that’s being
a member that never raises their hand when volunteers are asked for. What message do
you think that sends the other members of the group?
5) Ask Real Questions
Ask open-ended ques