For a long time the word networking meant nothing to me, probably because I had no understanding of what it actually meant. As I look back and think about when I actually had the opportunity to truly reap the seeds of all the networking I had done over the years, I was amazed by the impact that I had had on so many people. The majority of those people patronize my barbershop, hair shows and ect.
Networking is like working when everyone else around you isn’t. Most business-oriented people know the value in networking. It presents itself as an opportunity for a gain. When I network, I do it with passion and purpose. I show the people I’m talking to that I am interested without blowing smoke. For example, if I am at a conference and I see someone that I admire or am inspired by, I introduce myself and let them know that I respect them and their work and explain why. I would then exchange business cards or nowadays social media information, Time is such a valued assets in life, and every second is accounted for. Manage and respect other people’s time and be prepared to execute correctly to express the true benefits of networking.
It’s important to follow up. I do this by connecting with them on social media and reaching out after the initial meeting. The way to follow up differs based on the individual and location. If I meet someone at a networking convention out of town, I will follow up with them with my specific questions or statements in order to keep it short; always let them know that you value their time. One or the key foundation that I had personally misinterpreted in the past is, finding what value that I could bring to them and offer my value first. You see, mostly likely we are always looking to see what we can get out the deal, but not never what we can give. “The essences of networking is not to gain but give.” Invite them to lunch to pick their brain and see how we can potentially work together. Essentially, using the proper networking techniques will help you easily achieve your ideas and goals faster and efficiently.
Networking Tips and Tricks
Establish a Goal
- Be Frank (Straight-forward)
- Be Time Effective
- Get Contact Information (Social Media is growing everyday).
- “Most business oriented people know the value in networking. Be specific of what it is that you are interested in.
Identify your Target
- Having a target will help you save time, money, and energy.
- “Imagine playing pin the tail on the donkey. Once you have been blindfolded and spun in a circle a few times, it can very difficult to pin that tail. However, with good strategy and technique, you will able to pin that tail, weeding out any unnecessary moves.
Analyze and Reflect
- It is imperative to focus on the connections that will grant you the greatest impact.
- Provide value
- Focus how you can give not gain
The Follow Up
- This step is the most important part!!!!!
- Must follow up within 3 days or less or you risk being forgotten!
- Maintain a healthy relationship with you new connection (business, friends, or just support).