There are many skeptics out there who don’t see the value of networking—even though it is a top-rated marketing tactic in business. There are many reasons why some shy away from networking or attempting to network. But for most with a negative outlook, it’s because networking hasn’t worked for them. PrideStaff Financial offers tips on what to avoid in networking and how to get it to work for you.
Networking is not an opportunity to sell.
People make the mistake of thinking that networking is a great opportunity to sell someone something; be it a product, advertising space, landing a new client, or even selling yourself. In the world of networking you don’t start selling until you have established a give-and-take relationship. Be a giver. Serve others, let people get to know you, and wait for the referrals and introductions. Be patient with the process and you will reap the rewards of proper networking.
Don’t give people a reason to forget you.
One of the biggest mistakes people make in networking is never following up after a seminar or event. When attending events, you are usually handing out a plethora of business cards, shaking hands, and conducting meet-and-greets. You are building that relationship of trust. Make it a goal to follow up with two or three individuals from the event and let them know you are interested in talking with them further. Be low-key about it; offering some value for them. Then do what you say you’re going to do and follow up!
You’re networking with the wrong crowd.
Finding the right crowd to fit into hasn’t changed all that much from high school or college. It’s all about figuring out where you fit in. Networking follows similar principals. Networking at the wrong board meetings, events, happy hour mixers or group meetings can set you back significantly and make you feel frustrated. Networking isn’t just about the “network” group, there’s many areas in community service that provide networking opportunities. Community service groups, committees, various luncheons, local tourism or chamber committees, etc., all provide excellent opportunities for networking. You may be surprised at all the different ways and places you can network. Ask colleagues and friends how they network, and look at local town service boards. This will help guide you to the right groups for your networking needs.