Networking … we’ve all heard the term and know how important it is for business. For some of us, this essential task comes easy. For the rest of us, help is necessary. Author, humorist and life coach Beth M. Ramsay shared some valuable advice and a few laughs during the 2015 FPRA Annual Conference.
1. Networking is not flinging and fleeing – giving your business card to someone and dashing. It is not about the quantity of people you meet at an event. It is about quality of the connections you make.
2. Networking is a team sport. If you’re doing it solo, it’s called selling. No one wants to be pitched during a networking event.
3. Have focused goals and objectives. Know who you want to meet and why. Then zero in on making quality connections with those folks.
4. Find the “connector” in your community or industry. This is the person who knows everyone. You want him or her to help facilitate introductions with the people on your list.
5. Networking is all about the introduction. You want to be able to articulate what you’re looking for and how you can help the person you’re meeting.
6. Once the connection is made, be sure to follow up with the person promptly.
7. Networking interactions should be enjoyable, not just for the person you’re meeting, but for you as well. Keep your body language in mind. You want to make sure your posture is open and inviting.
8. Avoid what Ramsay called “clumping” – only hanging out with those you know at a networking event. Socializing with friends is fun, but not networking.
Whether you like to do it or not, networking is a part of business. Make the most of it so that you become known as a powerful resource for others.
Editor’s note: These tips were taken from a post written by Kim Polacek for the FPRA Annual Conference blog team. Read the full post here.