We all know the benefits of being well networked. This can lead to career advancement opportunities, new alliances, mentors, sales leads and the opportunity to collaborate on projects amongst other things.
Expanding your business network can reap significant rewards so its worth constantly investing the time in growing your network, making new contacts and expanding your circle.
So what makes an effective networker?
1. Develop a 30 second elevator pitch that details what you do and conveys why this could be beneficial for the person you’re talking to. Make your pitch exciting, succinct, clear and relevant. You might want to tailor this slightly depending on your audience and the setting.
2. Be authentic and genuine when connecting with people. Take an interest in the people you meet, their industry and what they do. Listen carefully and ask open ended questions that spark conversation.
3. At business events invite other people into the conversation and introduce them to the person you’re speaking with. Always be looking for opportunities to refer people to others that may be able to provide them with some value or an insightful conversation.
4. Always collect business cards and follow up shortly after you have met a new contact. Send a brief follow up email a few days later mentioning something that was discussed and if possible providing the person you have met with some value, insight or advice that can help them in their endeavors.
5. Remember people’s names and what they do! It sounds simple but it really helps to build rapport when you see someone the next time.