When it comes to excelling in business, networking is key. However, there are a few tricks to making connections that actually last and benefit both parties. This approach is much more viable than simply trying to get to know as many people as possible, without truly deepening these relationships. If you want to excel at networking, try utilizing these strategies:
Don’t just ask for favors
Some people complain that networking feels sleazy or awkward, but this is only the case when a person doesn’t approach the relationship properly. Networking should never be about trying to get as many favors as possible from someone. Instead, it’s about creating genuine relationships with individuals. In fact, you should be more focused on helping these people than you are on asking for favors from them. When you give more than you receive, people are much more likely to want to stay connected with you for the long-term.
Don’t go in without a connection
Networking is all about who you know, and it’s much more effective when you use your existing network to meet new people. Instead of blindly trying to meet people through LinkedIn and events, use the connections you already have. If there’s someone you’d really like to get to know, see if anyone in your Rolodex has a connection to this individual. From there, you can ask them to make an introduction for you. This helps you to form a deeper bond from the start than you’d have if you blindly contacted this individual on your own.
Focus on quality, not quantity
Many people make the mistake of trying to meet as many people as they can as they network. While it’s important to continue to develop connections, you don’t want to forget to strengthen existing connections. It’s much more powerful to have a handful of people you know well and trust, rather than dozens upon dozens of connections whom you barely know.
Don’t let things fizzle
Following up is another key component of successful networking. Life gets hectic and it’s easy to let weeks or even months go by without reestablishing contact with an existing connection. Don’t let this happen. In order to forge a deep relationship, you’ll need regular contact. Even if it’s just a short conversation or a brief e-mail exchange, checking in regularly is an essential part of being a successful networker. This helps to keep connections thriving.
What other tips do you utilize in order to excel at networking? Let us know in the comments!