Want to get more out of your networking endeavors. Here’s how:
1. Be strategic. Not all meetings, events or groups are right for everyone. Do your due diligence. Find out about the members or anticipated attendees, ask questions about the format and uncover as much as possible before you make the decision to join or attend.
2. Be proactive. Make networking introductions because you believe that there are good networking opportunities for both individuals even if there is not an immediate and ostensible need. Become known as a people connector and your visibility and credibility will increase along with the introductions that come back to you as well.
3. Be diligent. Networking requires persistence and perseverance. Results don’t happen overnight and one of the biggest mistakes that people make is that they expect results immediately. It can takes months or even years before you see payback on your networking time.
4. Be real. Don’t present yourself as something that you are not because people will see through your facade soon enough. Your reputation is critical and word travels fast in the networking world. Don’t run the risk of losing credibility. It takes a long time to get it and just one bad experience will make your credibility disappear.
5. Be open-minded. You never know who people know – their relatives, contacts or clients. Deciding that someone is not “worth your time” before you even have an opportunity to chat is short-sided and foolish.
I can add 5 or 10 more networking tips but this enough to get you started on the road to networking success. Any questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.