Networking is an essential business skill in any field. Some people associate networking with being pushy or outspoken, but it does not have to be this way. Pretending to be outgoing or forcing yourself to network will not work if you are not being genuine. Here are some tips on how to network effectively. For more information on this topic see the courses we have on networking on Our products page.
- Meet people through referrals
Meeting people through other people is one of the easiest ways to make new business connections. Being introduced to someone at a networking event is a great way to make an instant connection as well as getting contact details of people you are keen to meet.
- Don’t talk for too long
If you are going to a networking event make sure you have an agenda and try to keep your conversations with people short and to the point. This will give you more time to work the room, and also means that the person you are speaking to will not get frustrated if you are taking up too much of their time.
- Make it a two-way conversation
It sounds obvious, but make sure that you don’t do all the talking when you are meeting someone at a networking event. One of the main skills of conversation is to be a good listener. If you end up talking too much, then the other person may think that you are not interested in what they have to say.
- Arrange a follow-up
If you have made a good contact at an event then you will want to keep the relationship going. Make sure that you take their contact details and try and stay in touch with people and reconnect at least twice a year to keep them as a valuable contact.
- Say thank you
Making contacts is about building genuine and caring relationships. Always remember to thank your connection for the information that they have shared with you and always offer to help them in any way that you can in order to keep the relationship mutual.