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My take on what true networking involves?
~ Getting out of your comfort zone and meeting new people
~ Having REAL and SINCERE conversations
~ Having something to offer others to help them and not just looking for your next sale, plug, or new client
If you’ve ever been to a networking event, you can tell who is there just to pass out business cards and not really interested in forming relationships with those there. It’s important to put our communication skills to use when networking (especially active listening) and be able to collaborate and cooperate with others.
Some things to remember when networking:
~ Choose the group right for you. There are groups that meet online or for happy hour, lunch, breakfast, dinner, etc. Also, look at the mission and overview of the group. Make sure it fits what you’re attempting to accomplish.
~ Don’t commit to everything. There are often costs involved – monetary and time. Make sure you’re willing and able to make the investment. Visit the group a few times before committing to joining to ensure it’s something you’ll continue with. You don’t want to commit and then never be seen again – that’s a reflection on you and your business.
~ Once you commit, be consistent in your attendance and volunteer to help with events and planning. Again, don’t take on more than you can handle but work within your areas of expertise.
~ Know who you are, what you do and be able to articulate it. Have a 30 second spiel on your business/blog that you can share when others inquire about what you do. Try to have it specific to the group you are networking with. Also, for online networking – have the same thing available in written form.
What are some networking tips and techniques that have worked for you in the past? Have any epic fail moments you’d like to warn this rest of us about? Would love to hear about your experiences.
Have a fantastic weekend, Divas!!!