ExecutiveChronicles | How to Network Like a Pro | If you are new to networking, you are likely to be finding the prospect a little daunting. While some people love to walk up and spark up a conversation with a complete stranger, others take a little more time to warm up. If you fall into the latter category, then the below tips on how to network like a pro are exactly what you need.
From how to build meaningful connections to how to make new contacts, read on to discover everything you need to do to create a more extensive professional network and open up new opportunities.
One of the most common networking mistakes that people make is focusing solely on what they can get from a new connection. If you want to build long-lasting relationships that are mutually beneficial, you need to start out by thinking about what you can offer the other person.
Aim to be as helpful as possible, whether that involves helping someone within your immediate network or casting the net further afield. You may be surprised at just how effective being helpful can be in extending your network.
Although this comes more easily to some than others, being a great networker is all about confidence. If you lack confidence in your networking abilities, there are several strategies that you can employ to help you fake it until you make it.
Firstly, always make sure you are prepared for whatever type of networking event you are attending, whether that be property networking events or a virtual job fair. Take the time to research your target companies and brainstorm some relevant talking points. It can also be a good idea to wear something that makes you feel professional and comfortable, as when you love the clothes you are in, you will instantly feel more confident.
While you may be tempted to play it safe at your first networking event so that you don’t make any faux pas, this is not always a good idea as it can make you easily forgettable.
Instead, try to be yourself and talk to new people as though there were a friend rather than potential business contact. Take a deep breath, relax, and let your personality shine through.
Networking is all about getting to know other people, so you need to make sure that you are genuinely curious about each person you talk to.
Rather than make the conversation all about you, make sure that you actively listen to the other person and ask relevant follow-up questions which show that you are interested in what they have to say.
There are so many different types of networking events that you can choose from, including career fairs, university events, professional conferences, workshops, and online networking events, so why not be fearless and embrace them all?
Think about it this way, the more networking events that you attend, the more confident you will become in your networking abilities and the more likely you are to make meaningful connections.