Networking is about making connections and building mutually beneficial, enduring relationships. At the end of the day, it is not just about who you know, but more importantly who knows you.
10 tips on getting the Best out of Networking:
1. Have a plan – know what you want to achieve after the networking session.
Set a goal and be prepared in any networking session. Are you going to look for job opportunities, project funding or a co-founder?
2. Be clear about what you do.
Tell a story about yourself in 60s. Include your most up-to-date works and what you are looking for.
3. It’s far more important to understand their needs before you tell them about your needs.
People are selfish. We always care about ourselves first. So, show interest to other’s needs and they will do the same.
4. You don’t need to know the most people, just the right people.
More is not always the better. It is more meaningful to connect with 5 people who can actually help you rather than getting 50 business cards without much interaction.
5. Start by offering praise, not requesting help.
Everyone loves to be praised – but do it genuinely. Get to know each other more before start requesting for help.
6. Remember names
A person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language – Dale Cargenie.
7. Ask open-ended questions
An open-ended question requires an answer greater than a single word or two. A closed-ended question can be answered with a simple “Yes,” “No,” or other very simple answer.
Perhaps the most famous (or infamous) open-ended question is “How does this make you feel?”
8. Be a connecter – Try to provide as much value as you possibly can – networking is about helping others too.
Don’t hesitate to share your network or connect two persons you know personally – if they could be a great partner in business or building new friendships.
Yes, networking is about helping each other.
9. Don’t worry about rejection. It’s OK to get a No.
You’ll meet people who can’t or don’t want to help you. That’s the reality of life. Just don’t take it too seriously. Move on.
10. Follow up
Like how Reid Hoffman describes relationships.
Relationships are living, breathing things. Feed, nurture, and care about them; they grow. Neglect them; they die. You might be nodding your head at the importance of staying in touch.
Send a follow up email or a thank you note after your encounter. Write down where did you meet this person and what impression do you have to him or her.
In the end, Networking suppose to be genuine and friendly =)
Source — Entrepreneur.my