Suck Less at Networking! It’s Easy

Networking is a vital part of a great business strategy.  Knowing the right people can open doors for your career, but it’s not all ties and business cards.  There’s a lot more required to successfully network with business professionals.  Read on, and find out more.

  • Figure Out the Power Dynamic

The individuals in charge are very busy.  While it may be easy to score a coffee with coworkers, it’s not always a piece of cake with the higher-ups.  When you encounter these people, you need to understand how to properly approach them and get your name out there.  They probably won’t have time to grab a sandwich with you, but they may be able to talk on their way out of an event.  Don’t be pushy—just be aware of opportunities as they present themselves.

  • Offer Before Asking

People respond well to gifts.  Not just gifts—when you offer something for free, you catch a person’s attention.  Instead of asking them for a reference or recommendation, approach and ask to buy them lunch or a coffee.  Anything, really.  Don’t offer to wash their car tires with your shirt, just be reasonable and present some sort of value to them.  Take their plate to the window, or even just start holding the door.  This leaves a positive impression, and they’ll notice you.  Once you build a relationship on a positive foundation, then you can discuss what you need. 

  • Offer Valuable Input

Don’t just babble at meetings and social events.  Use your head, and try and find valuable solutions to problems.  If you have something new or innovative in mind, wait for the right moment to bring it up.  If you’re good, you’ll turn heads and be memorable.  This shows the people around you that you’re smart and valuable, and they’ll be more inclined to talk with that impression in mind.  If you bring real value to the table, whatever that may be, opportunities will open up for you.

If you understand how to network properly, limitless opportunities can present themselves to you. Practice as much as you can; it’s okay if you goof up once in a while.  Nobody becomes a networking pro overnight, it takes some work.  But with these simple tips, you can master the art of networking and begin opening doors for yourself in no time. 

Source: (Harvard Business Review)

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