Five Fabulous Networking Tips for Business ProsAssociation of Business Training
September 19, 2012 — 911 views
All business executives know that their professional success depends in large part on their ability to network with other business professionals. For some individuals, networking comes easily. They are able to interact with others effortlessly in a wide variety of social situations.
However, many business executives are simply not born with a knack for networking. These executives must work hard to hone their networking skills. Review the five following tips, which are designed to help executives increase their networking I.Q.
Choose Networking Events Wisely
As the popularity of business networking has grown, so has the overall number of networking events aimed at executives. You should carefully choose which events you will attend. Evaluate an event's fit with your overall needs. Is the event in your immediate geographic area? If not, do you stand to gain substantial benefits from attending the event? Make a point of choosing one or two events that you will attend on a weekly or monthly basis.
Network with a Friend
If networking is difficult because you're shy, take a business associate with you to events. You'll find it easier to talk with new contacts if you have a trusted associate at your side. If you don't wish to bring a business associate, bring a friend. Most networking events welcome business professionals to bring their significant others.
Get in Touch with Your Contacts
You'll collect dozens of business cards when you attend social networking events. After an event is over, choose those individuals whose businesses or stories most intrigued you and keep their business cards on hand. Two to three weeks after the event, sit down and compose a handwritten note to your new contacts. This is a great way to establish a relationship with a new contact.
Maximize the Power of Social Networks
You should include your social networking profile information on your business card. Be sure that your new contacts can find you on LinkedIn and other sites you may use. Such sites provide an easy way to stay in touch with new contacts.
Go Out for Lunch
Invite new contacts and clients out for lunch. Getting out of the office for a meal or cup of coffee is a great way to grow your new relationship. Keep discussions about business on the lighter side when out for lunch, focusing instead on getting to know your new contact.