If the opportunity doesn't knock, build a door!
If you speak to anyone with a highly successful career, they’ll say that business networking played a huge role in getting them where they are. I certainly would never have had the opportunities I had without my amazingly supportive network!
That said, I also believe that networking can be a complete waste of time if you’re not approaching it in the right manner and most people I meet need a lot of help to be more strategic and successful when networking.
If networking doesn’t come easily to you, or you’ve tried it with limited success, follow our business networking tips to give your career progression a massive boost.
1. Invest in professional networking coaching. This will save you countless hours of going to event after event and trying new techniques that might not give you any results. Networking training will teach you exactly what works and how to do it, so you can get stuck right into using methods that work.
2. Offer help wherever you can. Networking is all about sharing ideas, expertise and information so you can build trust in the new relationships you make. Business connections need to be mutually beneficial, so connect with people you can help and who can help you.
3. Be visible and approachable. If no one knows about your skills, experience and what you can do, you’ll be invisible. Once you’ve made a business connection, be sure to keep in touch via phone, email, social media and in person. People will only contact you if they feel comfortable approaching you.
4. Look at the long-term picture and think big. When you initially make a new business connection, you may not think there’s any benefit to you in maintaining that relationship. But situations and circumstances change all the time, and a connection that may not seem valuable initially could turn into your best connection in a year or two. Be sure to nurture every relationship just in case!
5. Ask and follow up. If you never ask, you'll never know! Be proactive and ask for an interview, ask for an introduction and ask for advice. Don’t be afraid to follow up if your initial response is not answered. Emails often get missed and return phone calls can be forgotten, so it’s important to follow up.
The purpose of business networking is to learn, share, be visible and establish key connections that can help you further your career.
If you’d like some professional networking training to help you get the most out of your networking efforts, call us on 1300 785 815 to find out about the training options most suited to you. Or you can check out our training here.
Julia Palmer, a respected Networking Strategist and Chief Executive of the Business Networking Academy, presenting and training on how to create and manage networks that work. To learn more visit www.juliapalmer.com & www.BusinessNetworkingAcademy.com.au