It can seem overwhelming trying to do everything. I hear this from folks on my "Networking Nugget" list.
Stop and choose one or two tips, and think how they all fit into your life and work. If you collect them as some of my readers do, you can always go back and see which ones you need to ramp up the concentration. Just like my 52 Networking tips that I send out frequently, I encourage people to only commit to a few at a time. Master them and then continue to add and modify others that work for you and continue for the next six months.
You can meet people and network anyplace, anytime. Networking is a “nonstop” process; it is just living your life, connecting with people, learning, giving and making things happen. Many people give up on networking because they think it is only about handing out business cards and asking for referrals. Nothing could be further from the truth. Building the relationships you need to reach your potential is easier than you think, yet it does take work. Look at it as a simple five-step process.
- Meet people. Welcome opportunities to meet new people, and re-connect with those you already know.
- Listen and learn. Everybody likes to talk about themselves. When you listen, you will learn who they are, what is important to them, how you can help them, and how they can help you.
- Make connections. Help people connect with others you know who can create a synergy.
- Follow up. When you promise to do something, keep your promise, and do it in a timely manner. Follow-up is one of the golden keys of authentic networking.
- Stay in touch. After an initial period of contact, if nothing happens, many people will just move on. Here is where a networking system really "works" for successful networkers. Successful networkers find ways to stay in touch and continue to build relationships. Why? Because their goal is to build a network of long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships, not just to get an immediate "result."
"Recently, I read an article on loyalty written by someone at a loyalty systems company. I noticed in his biography that he had gone to my alma mater, the University of Chicago, and contacted him. We met and this eventually led to my speaking engagement at their annual conference for executives working on frequent flyer programs in St. Paul de Vence. Great conference, great contacts."
Steven Georgeou Geocom, Inc.