by James Himm Mitchell, M. A.,
LifePlan Coaching & Consulting
You can't do everything yourself in the world of business. This is why it is so important to network and build relationships. You should always be out there meeting people and cultivating the relationships in your growing network.
Here are 5 tips to help your networking efforts pay off.
1. Make an Effort
Networking shouldn't be something that just happens. Get organized and plan a schedule of attending events or other opportunities to network, along with following up and nurturing your new relationships.
2. Face to Face is Better Than Virtual
The internet makes it easy to meet people and stay in touch, but face-to-face contact in person is still the best. Take advantage of any opportunity you have to network offline and interact in the real world with your contacts.
3. Know What You Bring to the Table
Before you set off to network, identify the skills, experience, expertise and other value that you can offer others. Take a good look at your resources and skill set to determine what you can do for others. Approach the new people you meet with confidence and let this value show.
4 . Get Into Coversations
When you're at an event networking to build your list of contacts, it's better to meet fewer people but become more engaged with them than to meet many people who you only have a chance to say "hello" to. Try to get into a real conversation with someone even if it means you'll meet fewer people.
5. Go for a Win-Win
Don't form relationships based strictly on what others can do for you. If you make each relationship mutually rewarding so that it's beneficial for everyone, it will be much stronger. The other party will be more likely to do things for you when they're also benefiting from knowing you.
Next time, I'll present 5 more tips to help you build your business network, through the art of cultivating relationships. In the meantime, which of these 5 will you put into practice?