How to get better at networking

James Swanwick

James Swanwick, CEO at Swanwick Sleep

Répondu il y a 78w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 52 et de vues de réponses 265.6k

There are two groups of people in the world:

  • Toi
  • Everybody else

One of those groups is pretty lonely. Even if you’re an introvert and even if you love spending time alone more than anything else, at some point, you’re going to need other people - especially if you want accomplish something big like starting a business. As Arnold Schwarzenegger would say, there’s no such thing as a self-made man.

If there’s one thing I understand, it’s how to bridge the gap between these two groups of people. It’s the reason I’ve been able to live in 5 different countries, including Colombia and Argentina. It’s the reason I’ve been able to have many different careers, including running a PR firm, anchoring for SportsCenter on ESPN, and being a celebrity journalist. It’s the reason I am where I am today.

However, this is not celebration of my resumé. I only say these things to show you the power of genuinely connecting with people. Because that’s the other thing: if you’re not genuinely interested in other people - if you only pretend to be because you secretly want something from them - then none of these steps I’m going to show you will work.

Here are the first 5:

1. Become a master questioner

“What do you do?”

“Where are you from?”

These questions suck because everyone hears them all the time. It doesn’t make the person feel anything - apart from apathy, maybe.

When I was a celebrity journalist and about to interview Angelina Jolie, her publicist came in and said, “no personal questions. Questions about the film only.” I sit there thinking, yeah, whatever mate.

But I’m still a respectful guy. So, the film being about a mother who has her son kidnapped, I ask this:

“Angelina, what would you do if your son was kidnapped? How would you feel?”
Can you see what I did? I asked a question that’s both related to the film and to her, and I asked her a question that would make her feel something.

She didn’t shut up for 10 minutes. She opened up. We connected.

So, instead of asking someone what they do, for example, try asking them what’s new in their business - or their life. What are they struggling with in their business? What do they need help with most right now?

You’ll be making them feel something with those questions. Ask away.

2. Understand the power of your existing network

Repeat after me: I already know everyone I need to know to accomplish everything I want.

You don't need to go to a ‘networking event’, or some seminar, or cold call people you think are ‘more important’ or ‘more influential’. Not when you could be asking your current network for help - people who already know, and more importantly, like you. People who already want to help you.

Ce qui m'amène à mon prochain point…

3. If you ask someone for help, and they can’t help, ask them if they know someone who can

Let’s say you’ve asked someone in your network to introduce you to a potential mentor, someone you’ve wanted to get in touch with for some time. You’re really hoping they can introduce you, you’re excited that it’s finally going to happen… and then they say they can’t introduce you.

What would you do then?

Because the truth is, most people give up at that point. They stop at the first hurdle. Which is crazy.

What would happen if you said this instead:

“No worries, mate. Let’s brainstorm quickly. Who do you know who might be able to help me?”

It. is. SO. SIMPLE.

They’ll know someone. I can pretty much guarantee it. You might just have to prod them a little.

4. Always be giving value

Read a book you think someone in your network might like? Send it to them.
Come across a resource someone in your network would like? Send it to them.
Watch a TED talk you think someone in your network would enjoy? You guessed it: send it to them.

How very actionable those things are. You could start doing this today!

The key here is to always be giving value without any expectation of getting anything in return. If you’re expecting something in return, you’re not really giving value. You just secretly want to be able to ask for something somewhere down the line.

5. When you’re asking for a Skype, a phone-call, or to meet someone in-person, make it ridiculously easy for the other person to say yes

Don’t ever say to this person, who’s probably an in-demand person, “when can you meet?”

But… why not? Sounds logical, right? Sound like you’re putting them first, doesn’t it?

No. You’re not. Because you’re making them do all the work.

If you ask when they can meet, now they have to stop what they’re doing, open their calendar, look at this week, look at next, and so on. If they're an in-demand person, they’re not going to do this - it’s not worth their time. Or, at least, they don’t know if it’s worth their time or not - so they won’t do it.

Instead, give them some dates and times. That way, they have something to work with. They don't have to figure out their calendar - they just have to look at it and see if they’re free when you’ve suggested. Much easier for them, which means they’re much more likely to actually meet you. Also, go to them. Whether it’s the restaurant in the building where they work or a coffee shop nearby.

Essentially, follow this principle: do as much work as possible so they have to do as little work as possible.

Gopi Krishnan Nair

Gopi Krishnan Nair, works at NeedStreet

Répondu il y a 207w

As an ex-salesman cum marketing guy, ex- Social Media Analyst, ex-NGO activist ,ex-TEDx organiser, current SM advisor to a Member of Parliament and as a person who is pursuing a Master's in Political Communication; networking is what earns me my daily bread. Networking is a very vague word which could work very differently in different surroundings, but if you were to start networking tomorrow, these would be the 5 steps that I would recommend (Adding examples from my own life for better perspective) :

Étape 1- Be a knowledge hound:

Networking is a lot about speaking the right things, and to speak the right things you need to KNOW what the right (or wrong) things are. Hence, it is essential that you read up on everything possible. When it comes to casual networking, its those random tidbits of info which you read off different social sites that help the most. If you have a specific bunch of people in mind, you must be updated on issues that your target group would care about. At the very least, you must have a good handle on generic topics such as being sports and technology: know the latest EPL scores, latest club transfers, the latest android update, features of that new iphone etc

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Affaire au point: I once spent half an hour having a casual conversation about phones with a client who was finding it hard to decide between buying an iPhone or Galaxy; at the end of it not only did he buy my product, but he also introduced me to all his friends (more potential clients for me!).

Étape 2- Turn on the "networking mode":

That old guy on the bus for whom you gave up your seat for may very well be a senior advisor to the CEO you've been dying to acquaint yourself with. Now you can either go stand against the wall, plug in your headphones and listen to that Lady Gaga song for the millionth time, or you could say "Hi, I see that *insert company name here* logo on your briefcase...You work there? (And smile)". Casual observations and acts of generosity go a long way in networking.

Affaire au point: This old guy I met on the train on the way back to college (during my undergrad days) was an assistant to the director of DRDO (India's premier defence research organisation); when our annual college function was drawing close, I used his influence and managed to rope in the director as our chief guest. The entire faculty was beyond pleased, I had such good marks that semester. ��

Étape 3- Observe and prep up:

Before you start a conversation with anyone, you need to obtain maximum info about that person online. Look him up on the internet, glance through his Facebook profile, linkdin profile - keep researching until you have a fair idea about his likes, dislikes and pet peeves. Then cherry pick topics which you have knowledge about, mostly off topic things which you could use to have a positive conversation with the person. Notice the persons dress, see if there is anything worth commenting about, the point is to keep adding mental reference notes. With a smartphone, all this would take about 5 minutes.

Affaire au point: I got an appointment with this ex ambassador once, en route to the meeting I googled him up and found this article about him where he speaks about his love for elephants (I like elephants too). Bingo. I immediately read up on famous temple elephants and made mental reference notes. As expected, his house had a lot of elephant pictures; I pointed to the biggest one and explained how much I admire "Guruvayoor Keshavan". After having an hour long conversation about elephants, governments and international relations, he ended up giving me a free signed copy of his book, the references I need and even invited me to be a member of his newly formed think tank.

Étape 4- Investing in relationships

Networking is all about quid pro qou, you make him/her happy, he/she gives you what you want. Everyone I know has reprimanded me for doing work without payment, but the fact of the matter is that people wont give you big money without trusting you, and the easiest way to gain trust is by volunteering your services. My golden advise is that its very important to invest in relationships at the beginning of your career, they pay dividends later on. So help as many people as you can and create working relationships with them, this will increase your sphere of influence exponentially , and pretty soon you will find people queuing up to seek favours from you. Stop expecting immediate monetary benefits for everything you do, be like the Godfather and seek "friendships" instead!

Affaire au point: Just too many!! The Director of DRDO is now the Vice Chancellor at a major university and I can use his reference anytime, the former Ambassador is the head of the state educational council and helped us a lot while organising our TEDx event and the client (with whom i had a chat about mobiles) literally forced many of his friends to buy my product, heck, I didn't even have to pitch!

Step 5- Work your way up

One of the biggest mistakes that most people make while trying to network, is that they always gun for the biggest fish first. You must realise that everyone in the room is waiting to talk to him, and that its pointless to be part of the crowd. Instead, aim for a close advisor of his, aim for somebody who is important to him but neglected by everyone. To make things easier, most of these people have huge ego issues about not getting enough credit. Talk to them, make them feel important, in most cases he would end up advocating your case to the big fish and get you a personal appointment with him during the weekends.

Case in Point: I was hoping to get the venue for my TEDx event sponsored by a "generous" organisation. They gave me an appointment clubbing me along with around 30 other people seeking sponsorship for various causes. Now I knew for a fact that they would not sponsor everybody and that I wouldn't be able to give my 30 slide presentation about TEDx in this rush, so I scanned the room and found an adjacent chamber where his PA was sitting with his head buried in a pile of documents. I slowly knocked on his door, as asked if his name was *insert name which I read off his nameplate on his door 10 seconds back here*, that Mr *person who asked me to meet the main guy* had asked me to meet him. After talking to him for half an hour, he took my proposal and asked me to come in the evening. By the time I met the main guy he was already convinced, he easily gave me sponsorship.

Or in other words , networking is all about being a nice, passionate and helpful guy, while being opportunistic at the same time. Help everyone you possibly can, but make sure you save their phone numbers and designations. Join as many NGOs and voluntary groups as you can, listen to people as much as possible, but make sure that they are slowly getting dependent on you. Offer your complete support to people when they are down, but make sure that they are talented people who will possibly become assets later on. Keep working your way up from being friends with the managers, to the Vice-Presidents, to the CEOs, but make sure you dont move too fast that you make them feel that you're fake. At the end of it all, keep smiling, keep probing, keep offering your help, shake hands and be funny.

J'espère que cela t'aides

Nelson Wang

Nelson Wang, I've been published on Forbes, Inc, and Fortune for self improvement topics

Répondu il y a 132w · En vedette sur Inc · L'auteur dispose de réponses 149 et de vues de réponses 12.6m

Networking isn't about exchanging business cards, hand shakes or getting deals done.

Networking is about getting to know other people. Networking is about helping others. Networking is about learning. Networking is about forming genuine, authentic relationships.

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Networking is critical to your career and personal success.

In a study done by Granovetter, he found that 56 percent of those that he talked to had found their job through a personal connection.

Want proof that networking is powerful for your career? Ever since my first job at Cisco, my last 3 jobs have all happened because of personal connections.

MIT researchers have also found that the more socially connected the employees were, the better they performed.

Over the last 11 years, I've been networking non stop. For some quick context, I have 7,479 followers and 6,535 connections on LinkedIn. These connections range from account managers to CEOs.

How to get better at networking

How to get better at networking

Here are the top 10 tips I've learned that can launch you to networking success:

  1. Stop pushing your agenda - Did you know that research has shown that people evaluate everyone they meet in two ways? They are "warmth" and "competence." Guess what? Warmth matters more. So just try to be friends with people. Get to know them. They are human beings just like you and me. Don't treat them like a number or a potential sale. Treat them with respect and have a genuine curiosity to learn more about who they are. Once you build a relationship and help them first, they will typically want to return the favor later on when asked.
  2. Realize that some of your best connections are existing ones - Reconnecting with your existing network is incredibly powerful because you already have a relationship with them. For example, recently I've been inviting people to an event I'm hosting. When I reached out to my existing network, I got a much higher response and acceptance rate versus people I hadn't met before.
  3. Your new business card is your LinkedIn app - Add people on LinkedIn instead. Now you have a virtual connection to that person forever and don't have to worry about carrying around cards all the time. You also don't have to worry about losing their card. Or no longer having their contact info if they switch jobs. See why a virtual connection on Linkedin is so powerful?
  4. Get over being shy - Learn to say hello to random strangers. Introduce yourself with a confident handshake and have strong eye contact. Not sure what to say? "Hey, how's it going. I'm (insert your first name here)" works for me nearly 90% of the time. Keep it simple. You don't have to be witty. You don't have to be super charismatic. You just have to be nice and friendly. Try smiling too.
  5. Partner up - It's easier to approach others when you have someone with you. It won't feel as intimidating especially if you're approaching a group of people. If you didn't go to the event with someone, find someone else that's also alone there and see if they want to pair up with you when you're mingling.
  6. Deux questions -
    1. "What brings you here?" - Get to know their "why" and motivations
    2. "How can I help you?" - Show that you want to add value first. This build relationships
    3. 99% of the time if you do this well they will naturally follow up and ask you the same - Ok, so I made up that percentage, but you get the point.
  7. Follow up and deliver - If you offered to help someone and you can, follow up within at least 2 days and deliver on your promise.
  8. 1 Minute Rule - "But Nelson, I'm afraid of committing to a huge task! I don't have time for that." Then don't. One system you can implement is the 1 minute rule. Only promise to help someone if it takes less than a minute of your time (like an email introduction, for example). This way you won't get swamped with a huge undertaking that you can't deliver on.
  9. Connect people - If you know two people can benefit by meeting each other, connect them. People will often really appreciate this. I just did this for a friend by connecting him to a founder of a hot startup. That meeting helped him gain one of his first customers and an article in Adweek. All it took me was a 1 minute email.
  10. Host events - Host dinner parties, happy hours or picnics to get people out of the "conference" mindset. People often form better connections at these types of informal events because it's simply a more comfortable environment. If you have a tight budget, make it a potluck!

Hope these 10 tips help you crush it out there! Happy networking.

For more career and professional development tips, subscribe to my site CEO Lifestyle.

Zack Freedman

Zack Freedman, Freelance HW guy. Sings for every dinner.

Répondu il y a 301w · En vedette sur Inc et Lifehacker · L'auteur dispose de réponses 214 et de vues de réponses 684k

The Rules of Networking:

  1. Networking is bullshit. You don't "network", you meet people. Get out of the results-oriented mindset and enjoy the conversations. Be a goddamn human about it. Put down your phone, because...
  2. Comfort zones are bullshit. The only network worth having is one that has a diverse group. Wide and shallow is the name of the game. With a wide network, you have more interesting conversations, more options for solving problems, and more ears on the ground to spot trends. Grow some balls, leave your silo, and make friends with people who are utterly unlike you. Twitter and Facebook shield you, which is why...
  3. Social media is bullshit. Talk to people in the real world. A lot. Expand your options using meetups, clubs, mixers, and getting friends to drag you along to their social stuff. Try and talk to everyone at the event. Ignore your business cards, because...
  4. Business cards are bullshit. There's exactly one reason to use a card - vous prendre leur card because vous want to follow up on something ils said. They like old Benzes and you have a friend who collects them? Ask for their card, write "Connect w Jeff re Benzes" on the front, pocket the card, and follow up with it. Don't give out your card unless asked, because...
  5. "Let's talk later" is bullshit. They'll never follow up with you. The ball is firmly in your court. If the conversation went well, call them back within two days, link them with what you wrote down, and check in every two weeks or so. Two weeks?! Yes, because...
  6. You never stop selling. You never stop shipping. Your life is vibrant, fascinating, and fast-moving. Every week, you have new people to connect and new developments to tell others about. And you do so.

    Your regular contact builds friends. Your excitement makes them want to listen. Your activity spreads the word that you get things done.

    Conversations aren't "How are you doing? Fine, how are you?" They're real, visceral, and worthwhile. Most importantly, you're actually helping people, and that's why you start networking in the first place.

Saulnier Elizabeth

Saulnier Elizabeth, Passionate about events.

Répondu il y a 23w

Tips For Effective Networking (Not Only) at Events

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The foundation of networking (creating a network of contacts) is to find people who can help you develop your careers. Scientists have discovered that a larger social network helps career growth, gaining lucrative jobs, raising salary and overall job satisfaction. You do not have to be an influential person or the most open person in the world to communicate effectively with others.

Take a step forward. Start with people you know from work or social life and attend a networking event. Keep your ears tight and listen to information that can bring you an edge.

How to get better at networking

Scary Networking

Unless you’re used to this idea, networking can make you horrified. You might think it’s something for very self-confident types that get the best job anyway. But this is not the whole problem. People are used to networking as a valuable business tool. The internet has made networking a viable option for everyone. There are lots of forums and business networking sites that allow business owners to share and discuss their opinions and knowledge. If you can keep a reasonable line between your personal and professional online presence, it’s a good way to get the latest news from your industry, but it can never fully replace going out there and meeting people in person.

What are the benefits of networking?

Many good jobs will never get to recruiting firms, newspapers or LinkedIn. They are shared by word of mouth. And the higher the position, the more likely it is that you will never find this job advertised anywhere. It’s good to know someone in an organization that can help you get in. It can only end with an interview that is always less stressful.

Like other forms of social behavior, networking has some rules too:

  • The first impression matters – face to face, by phone or e-mail. Always try to be prominent.
  • Do not ask directly for a favor – networking is not a trade fair; it’s just a chance to get potentially useful information.
  • Give and take – networking is a two-way exchange and not something that is free.
  • Fais tes devoirs – learn about your contacts before you meet them, and maximize the opportunity.
  • Think in context – try expanding your network by stepping out from your comfort zone or usual sphere of operation.
  • Patience is a virtue – dedication to the networking is a marathon, not spring; do not expect to find a dream job or to close a deal after the first meeting.

How to get better at networking

Creating your network

While you’re new to the game, you might have a lot of valuable contacts you’ve never even though of before:

  • old schoolmates from high school or college
  • distant family members
  • a family of your friends
  • your doctor, lawyer or accountant
  • former colleagues or superiors
  • club members or anyone with whom you socialize

Building a network via events

Networking meetings and conferences are a good way to build a network if you are not sure where to start. Find out why you are and what you expect from it, and make sure you have a business card that you would pass on to important contacts you will meet. Here are the most common networking events:

Breakfast Networking Event

The majority of networking events takes place in the evening. Therefore for a morning person, breakfast networking is a great way to start your day. Breakfast meetings work especially well the morning before a long day of work and meetings. We have recently co-organized two CMO Breakfast networking events with American Chamber of Commerce.

Roundtable Events

Roundtable events give you an option to meet people in small groups. Roundtables allow for open forums and discussions that, more often than not, lead to creative ideas and new directions. It’s a good opportunity to make new connections in the meantime and they provide open interaction.

Women/Men Organizations

Being involved in clubs and organizations specifically designed for women or men can help you to create a relationship with individuals who could be a great referral source.

Happy Hour Networking

Networking can be really stressful. Sipping a drink while mingling with people in a relaxing atmosphere is what makes Happy Hour networking events so popular.

Associations professionnelles

Professional association members tend to be from one specific type of industry. The main purpose is to exchange information and ideas. This is a simple procedure for targeting key groups. No matter what industry you are in, there are always people around to learn from. Take advantage of networking events in your area that hold events on a topic directly related to your working area.

Groups on social media

The digital age of networking is a blessing for the introvert in all of us. There are a ton of networking groups and forums on LinkedIn and Facebook (most major professional groups and their local chapters also have their own LinkedIn groups) that allow relationship-building (both business and personal) on a daily basis.

How to get better at networking

Follow up after the networking event

Keep track of who you’ve met and what you’ve been talking about – it makes no sense to create a network of contacts that you’ll forget. After the event send people you have met a“nice to meet you” message with a mention of a topic you have discussed with the person, so you remember the context of the conversation. If the event you have attended has an event app for attendees, your job might be easier. Also keep in regular contact, even if you do not need anything specific at the moment. You do not want to be known as the person who only calls when in need.

Are you or your organization running events? We have a solution for you. Learn more about EventBank’s event management software.


First appeared on EventBank Insights Blog: “Tips For Effective Networking (Not Only) at Events

Anfernee Chansamooth

Anfernee Chansamooth, Founder @ Simple Creative Marketing

Mise à jour il y a 59w

How to get better at networking

I wasted a lot of time at networking events.

I'd walk away with a bunch of business cards of people who I had no real connection with.

Most of those cards ended up in the trash.

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