While some people welcome the opportunity to exercise their networking skills, a lot of people need more than a little prodding to interact with people they do not know. Sound familiar? If you usually find yourself in such situations, you'll need the following tips to conquer your fear of networking.
Start with an end in mind. Before doing anything, you should first know your goals. What do you aim to achieve and what do you have to offer to your new connections? Identifying your goals can help you make quality connections and focus on what you need to achieve.
Arrive early. If you find that walking into a room full of strangers intimidates you, then try to come to the event early. You will find less people around so you can focus on what you need to do and warm up before a bigger crowd appears. In addition, the real networking takes place before and after the event. Keep that in mind and you'll see better results in your networking efforts.
Identify the movers and shakers. For best results, identify who these people are. They are the ones who have a lot of connections whom you may want to meet.
Tell your story. Do you have a unique story that is worth telling? Then, by all means, do it! This can help new contacts remember you better.
Listen. Rather than talk about what your business has to offer, take time to listen to what the others are saying. This can help you learn what they need and give you the chance to offer your help. While they may graciously decline the offer, the mere act of doing so is enough to create a good impression. As a result, they will be more willing to help you in return. That's what you call good karma.
Show a positive attitude. People are naturally attracted to people who show a positive attitude toward work
and life in general.
Put more weight on quality rather than quantity. Networking is not merely a numbers game. While having more connections can significantly increase your chances of taking your business to the next level, the quality of those connections is even more important. Embark on mutually beneficial relationships and take it from there. You'll surely find greater success along the way.
Know what networking is and what it isn't. Well, this should really be the first step in effective networking. Knowing what it is and what it isn't can help you put everything in the right perspective. Keep in mind that networking is not selling. It is the opportunity to meet and connect with the people who are relevant to your business.