August 27, 2009

Networking tips for dummies

Here are some networking tips found to be useful from Stephanie Speisman at Business 

Networking can do nothing but help you... (unless you tick someone off)! 
The posibilities are endless on who you can meet and you never know who they might know. 

Here are a few things to remember: 
  1. Keep in mind that networking is about being genuine and authentic, building trust and relationships, and seeing how you can help others.

  2. Ask yourself what your goals are in participating in networking meetings so that you will pick groups that will help you get what you are looking for. Some meetings are based more on learning, making contacts, and/or volunteering rather than on strictly making business connections.

  3. Visit as many groups as possible that spark your interest.Notice the tone and attitude of the group. Do the people sound supportive of one another? Does the leadership appear competent? Many groups will allow you to visit two times before joining.

  4. Ask open-ended questions in networking conversations. This means questions that ask who, what, where, when, and how as opposed to those that can be answered with a simple yes or no. This form of questioning opens up the discussion and shows listeners that you are interested in them
  5. Become known as a powerful resource for others. When you are known as a strong resource, people remember to turn to you for suggestions, ideas, names of other people, etc. This keeps you visible to them.
  6. Be able to articulate what you are looking for and how others may help you. Too often people in conversations ask, "How may I help you?" and no immediate answer comes to mind.

  7. Call those you meet who may benefit from what you do and vice versa. Express that you enjoyed meeting them, and ask if you could get together and share ideas.

    No matter what business you are in, let networking work for you!