Networking is an important part of business, but there is a right way and a wrong way. Do it the wrong way you are wasting your time. Do it the right way and you will start to create a dynamic tribe of people to call your own. Here are some tips for effective and intentional face time:
- Networking is more than face-time at meetings. Just showing up and passing out cards at networking meetings is not effective. You need to spend intentional time getting to know about people, learning about their businesses and see how you can help each other out. A good place to connect is over a cup of coffee or tea in a relaxed setting.
- Where you network matters. Make certain that the meeting, networking organization or event is a good fit and will give you what you are looking for. It is your time that you are spending and investing in networking (yes that has a $ value), so make it count. But do have some patience; it takes a bit of time to find a good match.
- The most valuable people who you should include in your network are the ones who you have developed a relationship with and is comfortable enough to give you as a referral.
- Make your networking count and connect with others. If you are shy or self-conscious, you need to find ways to conquer this so you can further your business, or you can hire someone who will be the face of your company in the community. There are times you will need to jump into conversations in order to make this happen, but this boldness will pay off in spades.
- Know your story and message. Know your elevator speech. Speak clearly, concisely, and positively about what you do. Say only what you want your listeners to hear and remember.
Author: Amanda Goff