Without a doubt, networking took off like a rocket due to social media, namely LinkedIn. Unfortunately, many new marketers raced to see how many people they could connect with, even if they were shallow encounters. Many of these marketers were meeting tons of people but they ended up sacrificing quality for quantity.
Whether it’s a physical room or online, trying to collect tons of business cards or emails has always been a bad move. Sticking to only one person in a chat room or an event is also a bad move. Learn to balance, learn to connect and above all else, learn to make quality connections.
Here are 4 tips to network more effectively.
Don’t Talk Too Much
Of course you have to be involved in a conversation, but don’t rule it. Many people who are new to networking become way too overzealous sharing their stories. This ends up being a conversation about themselves. The person you are talking to is not interested in your life history, so stop sharing it.
The idea is to connect with others, share your thoughts, but don’t try and make it about you. When you leave an impression on someone that you only care about yourself, you’re telling them they don’t matter. This is one of the biggest mistakes made by newbies.
Ask questions that will allow the other person to share what they do, what they like the most about what they do, and how did they get involved in their chosen niche. Good marketers know how important the person they are talking to is. Finding out what makes them tick and what matters to them leads to good conversation. It gives the other person a feeling they are important.
Take Notes Afterward
Obviously, you are not going to take notes in the middle of a conversation but shortly after meeting a new contact, write down some information about them. If you have their business card, write down what their niche or industry is, highlight what you talked about and definitely write down information for a follow up.
When you start meeting people, you can’t possibly remember everything, so write it down before you forget.
Just Sit Back & Relax
When you are new to networking, it can be a little intimidating. Keep one thought in mind, networking is nothing more than meeting people. Think about it this way; when you go to a social gathering with friends, you don’t feel intimidated meeting new people.
Successful networkers will tell you each person you meet should be thought of as a friend or the friend of a friend. When someone gives you their name that’s the beginning of a conversation and hopefully a newfound friendship.
Always Be Grateful
Always thank someone and show gratitude for giving you their time and knowledge by sending them an email. Let them know how much you appreciated their company and how their advice helped you out. Share with them any achievements you have made thanks to their help. Possibly you received a new contact that is helping you build your business or their advice gave you a much better understanding of marketing.
People love to hear the words “thank you”, it makes them feel valuable and their time and energy were well appreciated. Seasoned marketers know that people like to help others and those that help others will reap great rewards down the road.