Nearly everyone in the business world considers networking to be a critical part of professional success. However, not all networking is created equal. To successfully network, one must do more than simply make the acquaintance of others in their field. Today, we’ll discuss some strategies to help make successful networking connections in the business world.
One common error in networking is coming on too strong. While you certainly want potential contacts to understand what it is you have to offer, no one wants to be given a sales pitch right off the bat. People are most likely to connect with individuals they find pleasant. Many people lose out on excellent networking opportunities by coming across as abrasive and overly aggressive. Establish a pleasant social relationship as you network to improve the possibility of a successful professional connection.
However, even if you’ve mastered an effective networking introduction, there’s no guarantee that those you’re networking with will have done the same. Many people attempting to network are nervous and unsure of how to go about establishing a new business relationship. As a result, they often begin conversations by getting down to business immediately, forgoing any type of personal introduction. Lyle Katz of ALS Consulting advises handling this situation by steering the topic away from business, and initially engaging in small talk instead. This provides an opportunity to get to know your conversational partner a bit better and paves the way for establishing a future relationship. As Mr. Katz says, “Take time to get to know them, and they will immediately become more relaxed. Try to always remember, at networking events, that you are building relationships, not looking for clients.” Find more great pointers by Mr. Katz at www.alsleadership.com.
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