Networking…whatever your preconceived notions are about the subject, we are here to share some tips and skills that you can implement to effectively network with others!
In today’s world, networking is a necessity. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Many studies have shown that professional networks lead to more job and business opportunities, broader and deeper knowledge, improved capacity to innovate, faster advancement, and greater status and authority.”
You may be an extravert who loves and thrives off of talking to people, or you may be that introvert that hates crowded rooms. While some may view networking as inauthentic and forced, we are here to change your perception of networking.
First of all, you need to change your mind set about networking! It is NOT about YOU! A common problem people face when networking with others is that you are constantly thinking about what YOU are going to say next. Think of the acronym FROG. Ask questions about the person’s family, recreation, occupation, and goals. It is more beneficial to ask questions in that order; if you skip the first two and start with asking someone what is his occupation, you have missed the opportunity to connect with him on other topics!
You can also start a connection with someone by asking him these three power questions:
- What is your biggest challenge?
- What have you done so far?
- What is your next step?
By asking these questions, you can lend your services/help this person to overcome his challenge. It also allows him to do his own introspection/self-reflection.
Why should you network? It allows you to build relationships, develop a network of individuals across different industries, create generosity, and hone in on your communication skills. A great book that we recommend that helps you with your communication skills is The Seven Levels of Communication by Michael J. Maher. The most important takeaways from this book are that you should not wait for a life changing event to change your life, use your meeting times as a way to connect others together, and focus mainly on people.
According to a Washington Post article, Networking 101, here are some important Dos and Don’ts of Networking:
With all of these great tips in mind, think about networking in a positive and uplifting way! Networking is not about what you can get from someone, but rather what you can offer to someone.
Growing your network will help you grow your business. Once you make the investment in yourself to begin meaningful networking, you can reinvest in your business by using these connections to expand it! The greatest asset you have is yourself, and your greatest investment is your business.
What Wealth Without Wall Street can help you with is what strategies you can use to constantly reinvest in yourself and your business.
Are you great at networking, or do you have any other suggestions for successful networking? We would love to view your comments in the comments section below!