We’ve been taking a little break getting ready for our unNetworking Autumn/Winter programme, but here we are back with Secret Number 4 of effective networking – make new friends.
Decide what networking events suit you by finding the ones local and applicable to you and ask if you can attend as a guest. Once you have found the ones that suit you then attend them regularly, but stay on the look out for new opportunities.
Try to avoid the trap of meeting as many new ‘contacts’ as you can, quality over quantity, and aim to be making new ‘friends’ as opposed to contacts and business cards.
When meeting someone for the first time consider whether or not you want to take it further, sometimes it may take a few more meetings, and to help you decide try and listen to them more than you talk, understand their issues and build a rapport, ask them open questions and good follow up questions, reveal things about yourself to establish common ground. This is really important in establishing and building good solid relationships.
Remember to ask yourself:
- Do I like them?
- Is there common ground? (from a business and a personal viewpoint?)
- Do I find them interesting?
- Will they find me interesting?