I have been to several networking events and it always amazes me at how bad people are at conversation and making connections – especially Millennials who want my business/money.
They seem to be more interested in promoting themselves rather than learning how to network and build genuine connections. Whether it’s failing to follow up with contacts, neglecting to offer value in return, or lacking the necessary conversation skills, many individuals miss out on the opportunity to establish long-lasting connections that could help them advance their careers or businesses.
To avoid these common pitfalls and become a successful networker, below are three essential tips to consider:
1. Learn conversation skills and techniques to really connect with people
At a networking event it can be challenging to break the ice and talk with people you don’t know. Skip the typical niceties and boring weather chat. Be genuine and come from a place of curiosity when you’re talking with people.
People love to talk about themselves and there are simple techniques such as observing and commenting, a simple touch on the arm, or mirror and matching, which will earn you more rapport than anything you could ever say.
2. Offer more than you want to take away
To truly stand out, you must first give freely and generously of your time, resources, and expertise. Going above and beyond for someone, whether making an introduction, offering a referral, or providing a listening ear, can make a significant impact. One key benefit here is that it allows you to focus on building long-term relationships rather than just chasing short-term gains. So if you’re wondering how to network effectively, remember that it’s not just about attending events or making cold calls, it’s about taking the time to build meaningful relationships with others based on mutual trust and respect.
3. Build rapport then you build the relationship
Like attracts like and people enjoy working with people they like. Look for a place of common ground to build rapport. This can be done by finding something that they have in common so that will start to feel comfortable. One person has to make an effort to build that connection and build rapport. Being able to pay attention and read others so one can connect with different types of people can be extremely beneficial.
In conclusion, mastering the art of networking is essential for success in any career or business. By following these tips on how to network, you can create a robust network of contacts that will help and inspire you to achieve your goals and advance your career. Don’t hesitate to put yourself out there, make meaningful connections, and invest in relationships that will help you achieve your life goals over the long term.