The Art of Networking
“ If you believe business is built on relationships, make building relationship your business.” - Scott Stratten
Why in-person business networking is critical
Having a big social media following is one thing but investing in face to face networking is still more important. Why? Because it is easier to put value to and leverage access to the people you have actual in-person contact with. Meeting people face to face create a more intimate relationship with that person. Yeah, I know during this time of COVID19 it’s hard to build these types of relationships, but it is still very important. You must be creative. Well explore some ways to develop your networking skills but most importantly we want to expand those connections to business opportunities and access to audiences that you would not normally have access to.
But first, let talk about how this collaboration came about for me and KTTV. Yes, of course it was networking. A friend, of a friend, of friend and it just so happen that we had similar objectives as far as community services goes. I am the administrator of a Facebook group called “Mastering Life Group Therapy” _ I’ll explain the details of the name and what the group does in another post in the future. KTTV is a part of the group and has been instrumental in posting enlightening and educational material to the forum. So, when this opportunity came up for us to collaborate on this project it was an easy “Yes.” I saw all that to say this. The art of networking.
A lot of people have a hard time networking for business because they go into the event as an option for making money, this approach automatically creates anxiety. The art of networking, is kind of like dating, you go out to meet someone to see if you have anything in common and then if you do you make a determination if you want to explore the commonality further. Same with networking, not everyone will have the same values and views as you do when it comes to business, the purpose of networking is to explore those opportunities.
Here are some tips that can help you ace your next networking event:
The purpose is to build rapport, remember that, you are not there to negotiate a million-dollar deal. You are there to invest in gaining access to new people and new opportunity if it presents itself
Be prepared to add value and expertise in your skills area. If people see you mingle and you are confident in conversation about what you do and how well you do it, you add value and people will automatically gravitate to you. This is your opportunity to establish a connection outside of the networking event to explore collaborative opportunities
Do not take the networking opportunity for granted, do not assume that you will get another opportunity to have access to the people you meet at the event. Make connection, exchange contact information and most definitely schedule an appointment to discuss details of any potential business opportunity. People respect effort.
Networking can help build your reputation and your influence. When people can meet you in person and feel your energy, they are more likely to trust you and want to work with you.
Think smart, come prepared and leave your expectations at the door. Networking is not easy, because meeting new people is never easy but having preconceived notions about the people and the event is never a good thing. As with every business opportunity put your best foot forward and put in the effort to make a good impression