What’s your name? where are you from? What do you do? Where do you work? Do you like it? Where do you want to be in life? What does a typical day in your job look like? What’s your favorite color? What kind of projects are you working on right now? Where do you see this field going in the future? Do you prefer Pepsi or Coke? How long have you been with XYZ Company? What’s the culture like? What’s your mothers maiden name? Do you want to get coffee sometime?
Networking gets very personal, very fast.
All of these questions can sometimes leave you wondering… Am I making connections or is this person trying to steal my identity? It is apparent that networking is crucial. Whether your searching for a job, trying to grow your business or even just developing your personal brand, the right connection can make your career. While your 10-15 minute conversation over tapas can get personal quickly, it will take time to build those relationships up in a meaningful capacity. These one-on-one happy hour conversations will eventually develop and become valuable resources for referrals, leads on positions and other information that can help you or become an opportunity to help someone else. In this week’s blog, you wont believe these weird networking tips that all successful people use. keep these points in mind to ensure that you are networking efficiently.
10 Weird Networking Tips That All Successful People Use
- Keep a pen with you at all times. You never know when you are going to run into someone When you start collecting business cards and are having conversations with people jot some notes about that person in the white space. This will be helpful next time you meet up with that person.
- If you only take one thing from this article, take this: DON’T FORGET TO FOLLOW UP. If you meet someone at happy hour and you get their card, or they ask you for a portfolio or a resume FOLLOW UP. If they forgot they met you the night before, a follow-up email is a great reminder!
- Fashionably late will not help you. If you arrive too the event late odds are everyone is already having a conversation. IF you’re early, it’ll be easier to scope out people and groups before they form and decide who you would like to connect with.
- Ixnay the hard sell. Your goal is to get the conversation started and these events should be kept fun, light and informal.
- Not everything is about you. Be sure to ask other people questions and get to know them. Any good conversation should be even and mutually beneficial.
- Connect by re-connecting. Reach out to someone you remember from high school or college. If you come from the same roots you’ll have plenty to talk about and you can introduce each other to connections already have.
- Ask for help! A lot of people refuse to ask for help, but thats the whole point of networking. You’re not asking for a job. You’re trying to build up useful information about industries and companies. People go to networking events and expect it to be a two-way street: help and get help.
- Don’t expect immediate results. It can be months or even years down the line before someone you have connected with might have a resource that would be helpful to you. If you don’t spend the time to develop that relationship, it’ll never come into fruition. Networking is a long-term investment in time.
- SAY THANK YOU. Nobody wants to feel unappreciated or used. A small thank you can mean the difference in future assistance from someone else.
- Smile. Uncross your arms while you’re at it. You want to be approachable, simple as that.
- Name drop. Not in the “look at me and all of these important people that I know” way. But when you learn someone’s name repeat it throughout the conversations casually to build up familiarity.
Networking is all about learning, growing, and forming connections. Patients is a virtue, if you make networking a habit, just like brushing your teeth or going to the gym, you’ll see your opportunities increase.