In the next of his series business networking strategist Andy Lopata shares his tips for breaking down the barriers to successful business networking.
Your network contains a wealth of expertise and experience – a bank of knowledge that you can both contribute to and benefit from.
Build a strong network around you of people from diverse backgrounds to whom you are comfortable admitting that you don’t have all the answers and can ask for help.
The letter K is derived from the Greek word
Kappa which, in turn, was taken from the Semitic Kaph, which was portrayed as an open hand.
What a perfect letter for networking! To be an effective networker your hand needs to remain open both to give to others around you and to accept their help when it is offered.
K is also for…
Keeping records and Keeping in touch
Networking is not about one-off interactions but about building relationships over time.
‘What goes around, comes around’ or, as BNI say, ‘Givers Gain®’. Don’t worry about what you can receive, just seek to help your network.
One cheek, both cheeks, in the air or just a handshake? The perennial problem, particularly for men greeting women! Cultures differ, even within the same country, so don’t be frightened to be led or to ask but don’t be embarrassed.
Knowing when to ask for help
Fools rush in while the shy simply never ask. Understand the power of your relationships and where you are on the journey.
Becoming better Known
What are people saying about you when you’re not in the room? Your network has huge potential to accelerate your success, take control of your personal and professional brand.
Riding the Knockbacks
Whether it’s attempting to break into a group at an event or a failed referral, you will suffer rejection. It’s part of coming out of your comfort zone. Be ready to learn from them, not take things personally and move on.
Be patient, supportive and kind to the people around you. Invest emotionally in your relationships with them and be the type of person you would want to be around.
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