Everyone around you is talking about networking and its benefits, but what if you are a newbie to the game? How do you create your network? How do you meet new people? How do you build strong and qualitative relationships? It can be scary just thinking about all of these.
We may not have the answers to all your questions, but we compiled 7 pieces of advice for you, which we hope will be useful in your endeavour.
The best way to meet new people is through events, be it an afterword organised by a friend or a conference you are attending. Is not always easy to be social, but with experience comes the ease. An important factor that you must remember, you are not going there to network, but rather to meet new people, new ideas, new experience. With this idea in your mind, things will go smoother.
What to say to the people you meet? How do you start a conversation? General questions will bring you quite far. People like talking about themselves, therefore ask your interlocutor about their job, the area of expertise, etc. These types of questions are a safe game.
Be a good listener! As we told you people, love talking about themselves and their projects, therefore they will appreciate having your interest. Slowly you will be able to contribute to the conversation, and from there you will notice the conversation will flow better and easier. Its not a rule, but we would advise a ratio of 70% listening and 30% contributing.
Before ripping the benefits of your network and scaring people into believing you are there only to exploit them, be a helpful person. After you listened to your interlocutor challenges and problems, be the person who gives tips, recommendations, makes introductions; be an added value to the other person.
Be a giver and not expect anything in return. Just the giving part will make you feel better. Also, often people will remember this and will return the favour when the time comes.
Once you made the connections, don’t forget them. Develop the relationship and keep in touch. A simple small text like:” I saw this on LinkedIn and thought about our conversation back at X Conference…” will be more than enough to keep the relationship growing and getting stronger.
It may sound like a cliché, but this is true. Create connections that will nurture you, will push you to become better and learn new things. The connections can become your mentors, peers, future clients and even friends.
Studies show that networking helps productivity, brings new ideas and in general make us happier.
So, what are you waiting for? Time to get out and see the world