Start Engaging Yourself In Networking

Whether you're looking for growth opportunities within your current organisation or a new job, connecting with investors or generating warm sales leads, strong networking skills are crucial for success. Doing so, you can aid your career progression to great lengths. But, how do you do it? (9 minutes read)

Whether you’re looking for growth opportunities within your current organisation or a new job, connecting with investors or generating warm sales leads, strong networking skills are crucial for success. Doing so, you can aid your career progression to great lengths. But, how do you do it?

There is no rocket science behind it, you just have to start with who you know and keep building from there. Simple, yet challenging, here are a few steps to make for a smoother process of networking:

Create a brand of yourself

The smartest people don’t just talk to us; They inspire, advocate, challenge and move us. They get under our skin and into our conversations. They are not afraid to ask questions and along the way, to change the way we think. They earn our attention our trust and our word-of-mouth. A conversation is shared power. But monologues don’t work. Just like the most popular brands understand that first and foremost, their role is to connect smartest people, in order to do so, attract and engage people in a conversation, as a result, create a brand of themselves. It’s about time you imitate not them, but their traits and create a unique proposition of yourself.

Learn similar points of interests of your listener

To connect with your listener, you need to understand why your conversation or topic is important to them. What do they expect to learn from that particular networking? Do not assume that your listener has interests like you. The one you are networking with may have cultural or geographic biases and the more you understand them, the better you can express yourself. It is also important to know the level of knowledge you listener has about your topic, so you can present the information with the correct tone to keep him/her interested and engaged. There is nothing more insulting than to present basic information to a highly knowledgeable audience, and conversely, speak at too high a level for a novice listener.

Ask questions

Seems obvious, but alas, listening is all too rare. Interviewees, be it for job or admission to college for instance, almost always spend more time thinking through their talking points than asking smart questions. Yet it is your questions, rather than your recitation of your resumé, that will impress an interviewer the most.

Understand the listeners’ true motivations

Smartly, steer the discussion to your audience’s true concerns. For example, if you are a brand manager, in order to show a consumer how your product fits into his/her life, you need to know what makes her want to have that product in first place.

Smile

Make it as easy as possible for others to approach and talk to you. A friendly initiative from your side can overcome their self-consciousness or indifference. Whether your smile is literal or metaphoric, you have to make people want to interact with you.

In short, try and maximise your opportunities “to be out there” and participating! The more you can meet, mix, and chat with others, the more likely it is that you’ll make connections and valuable contacts. And one other important word of advice: Have some personal cards that you can hand out to the people you meet, so they remember you later, and know how to get in touch or connect with you on-line! Cards are still one of the best methods to finish a conversation in such a fashion that the other person can follow up on it later!

Aakash Balasubramanian
A budding entrepreneur with a huge appetite for travel and adventure for food. I believe every idea can be big, but not everyone possesses the skills to make something grand of their idea. I feel confident of possessing myself with the requisite skills to push my ideas to the next level.
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