Networking skills are very necessary if you are venturing into a business or even when looking for a job. It is important that you know how to improve this skill in order to effectively win more customers and possible business partners in case you are planning for an expansion or to land your ideal job. Networking skills do not improve overnight but with constant talking to people and being sensitive to their needs and interests, you can succeed this endeavor.
It is very essential for them to feel that you are genuinely interested in them and their welfare. Being successful in your networking effort does not necessarily mean making friends with several people but being able to know the persons’ needs, gathering them in a meeting and start talking and doing business.
Widening your network does not only entail giving out lots of business cards. But it is effectively building relationships from the very start. It is important that when you do networking, you have an action plan and goals set in your mind. Make a deliberate effort to reach out to your contacts and even create new ones daily. You can set up this routine of widening your network and getting to know more people who are potential clients and business partners.
8 Tips To Improve Your Networking Skills
1. Get Right Attitude
You should have the right attitude in order to sharpen your networking skills. You should get rid of shame and approach people with confidence. Walking up and talking to a stranger can be uneasy at times, but once you know that you have the story to tell them, everything else will just be fine. When you approach people, you need not pressure yourself of the outcome that you want to achieve, rather think about how you can help them.
You need to learn how to listen and not do the talking alone. Never hesitate to approach introverts. Sometimes you tend to be hesitant walking up to people with this personality but take it as a challenge and never underestimate the people they know who can be added to your network as well. Be genuine when talking to others and remember that integrity is very vital.
2. Keep in Touch With Existing Contacts
Know your network and never forget to reach out to them. You can add them to your address list in your email and send them messages for any updates and promotions. You can also make use of social networking sites to widen your linkages since most people are attracted to these sites, you might as well take advantage of this to know more people. You can also look for professional networking sites and join them. Other sites offer free memberships while others charge fees with upgraded features. These sites offer updated lists where you can exchange business cards and join events that will help sharpen your networking skills.
3. Add People To Your LinkedIn List
Aside from your online option to sharpen networking skills, you can also access organizations like your college alumni organization or that of your other contacts and begin to know more people and add them to your linkages. You can also check out and join networking parties where you can talk about your business or meet prospective recruiters if you are looking for a job. Improve your business card as well because this would bear your identity as you give these out to your potential contacts.
4. Listen More
Listening is a wonderful skill. Not many people possess this skill since most people want to talk a lot. Listen to people about their achievements and projects they are working on. Applaud them and ask them for tips that they can share with you. This way it will appear to them as if you are really interested in touch with them and will help your to grow your social network.
Meet new people and socialize with them. Hang out with them and join them at social events. Don’t isolate yourself. When you are in touch with them, it boosts your relationship. This will allow you to be in contact with their friends too. Your friend list will keep going stronger and bigger.
6. Introduce Yourself
Whenever you visit any event, its not easy to initiate talk with others. Some people feel shy in introducing them to other people. The best way is to look out for any common interest that you both share. This would be the best way to approach and initiate talk with them. Introduce yourself by giving your brief info and what you do for living. Tell them what makes you ?????
7. Follow Up
If you have been to any networking event, don’t forget to exchange business cards with them to grow your social network stronger. Exchange phone numbers and email id. Follow up with them after few days of contact. Plan to meet outside and exchange any information if you have researched on the internet. Join social groups on which most of your friends are already members. Let them know that you are interested in being touch with them. Send them a link of any blog or article on a interesting article.
8. Be Interesting and Innovative
You have to be innovative and creative so that people want to remain in touch with you. Don’t be boring. Be polite and interesting. Listen to people and don’t interrupt them in mid way. Don’t argue on a certain point just to satisfy your ego. Make a pleasant conversation with them and maintain long lasting relationship to increase your networking skills.
You always have the chance to network anywhere but do not do it too much. Treasure your contacts and figure out what you can do to help and meet their needs. Be genuinely concerned about them. Always think networking as an opportunity for you to improve your networking skills and be a help to others. In this way, you can build your integrity and project a better image to others. Do not hesitate to approach people who may seem different from you because you do not know what they are capable of and the other linkages that they might have and become your potential contacts as well.