In the 5th of his series to the LPN business networking strategist Andy Lopata shares his tips for breaking down the barriers to successful business networking.
One of the golden rules of networking is to engage, not broadcast. It’s important to remember that you are seeking to build relationships with people by finding out what you have in common and finding rapport, not selling to them.
The more people feel as though you are talking at them and not giving them space in the conversation, the harder it will be to build those ever-vital relationships.
Believe in yourself, want to be there and love every minute you spend engaging with the people around you. Take energy from your network and give it back in spades.
The moment you lose that enthusiasm for interaction, people will know and they won’t want to spend time with you, let alone support or refer you.
E is also for…
If you’re trying to help people understand what you do, give them examples where you have demonstrated your abilities successfully.
Networking takes you out of your comfort zone and it’s easy to find excuses not to go to an event, not to ask for referrals or help, not to open yourself up to be accountable. Don’t.
Everyone you meet, everyone you know has something to offer and you have something to offer them. Get to know them, build the relationship and find out what it is.
Empathy, Encouragement and Empowerment.
Be there for other people, seek to give more than to take. Seek to understand what people are going through and be supportive of their goals.
Experience and Expertise.
The perfect network has a diversity (see Networking Ds!) of expertise and experience. Bring yours to the table and ask people for the benefit of theirs.
Network according to the environment you find yourself in and create the right environment to help you achieve your goals. Don’t seek, for example, to have in-depth conversations or ask for help in busy, crowded events.
Stop pre-judging people or conversations! Be curious, let the ideas flow and see where it takes you.
View the series:
Check out Andy’s blog by simply clicking here
Follow Andy on twitter @AndyLopata