Networking takes time and it goes without saying that you want to receive the maximum return on your investment. Here’s how:
Not all networking events and groups will provide you with positive results. Attend as many as you can as a guest and assess carefully BEFORE you make a decision. By doing this you will save yourself endless hours spent networking with individuals with whom there may be little synergy.
The very best networkers know that you must be proactive in your networking endeavors. Make introductions freely and don’t wait until someone has to ask you for a contact name. Consider how two people can help each other and reach out and put them together. There’s no downside to proactive networking behavior.
There’s nothing to be gained by keeping a networking scorecard. If you are considered to be a generous and giving networker you have a greater chance of seeing this generosity shown to you as well.
We’re all busy and if you fall off of the networking grid you will be certain to not get the type of ROT (return on time) that you desire. Use the 3 I’s (introductions, invitations and information) to provide value to your networking contacts and you can be certain that they won’t forget you.
Don’t kid yourself. Everyone can spot a networker that’s in it “for themselves” and doesn’t demonstrate and extend the appropriate networking courtesies. Be considerate and genuine or you will suffer the consequences of having bad networking karma.