Break the silence; start talking to build your network. – What are you waiting for? Building your network gives immense benefits. In this modern world, if you look for or search for a partner and if that person is the kind of person who will not bring in any money, will not work for a business, who wants part of the profits, then he is known as a NETWORKER. He must be excellent at networking.Building trusted relationships is an art. Building relationships is essential for human beings in their personal life, professional as well as in business.
Networking is not just exchanging business cards. It is connecting other individuals, establishing relationships with other people for the benefit of both parties. In the process of networking, first, one has to start communication. In communication, listening is more important instead of talking. A person who is more concerned about listening to others wins the hearts of people and thereby clears the first step of building contact.
If you want to build your network – break your silence and know more about the people you meet by listening and asking questions. “Networking is an organized collection of your personal connections, their connections and so on. Networking is finding who you need to get what you need in any given situation and helping others do the same.” Harvey MacKay
Networking is a two-way bridge. It is not about selling or exchanging business cards. Building a network is about starting connections, establishing goodwill with the aim of having mutual benefits. Networking is not a game of numbers. It is not important, or it is not relevant to the number of people you can meet, it is important to how many people you have connections with and can count on to be recommended to their connections. In networking, using the connections of our circle or connections is important. And if you have mastery of this, you can build an empire in your network.
Networking is about helping others.People do business with, help, share information with and give referrals to people they trust and value. Trust turns contacts into connections. Most contact will probably happen at social events.Talk socially and get know each other. Don’t talk about business at the first meeting. Only offer business cards, exchange business cards and talk business after you know each other better.
“You can close more business deals in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.” Dale Carnegie
You do not expect immediate benefits or advantages through networking, it gives benefits in the long run, and it is for the future. Networking will happen when your connections start helping you!
It is not an overnight process. It takes some time. Trust can be built by your actions towards other individuals, and through your behavior, way of life. In order to build trust, it is expected to be honest, frank and one has to value, honor commitments. Trust is nothing but a firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something. Respecting another person’s belief, ideology is the first step in building trust.
Building a network is nothing but, building relationships. It is the key to any business, successful job career or in any walk of life. It is a time – consuming one. It is quite natural that, instead of asking for help from other individuals, you have to offer something first. It is the essential positive and useful connection you must have to build in the stage of building a relationship.
To build a good network you have to be open-minded, honest, you must have some interest in human relations and genuinely engage in other individuals’ causes. You have to show interest in their needs first rather than focussing on your own. Talk with them, communicate with them freely and get to know them as people first.
Create goodwill from others
Goodwill is an intangible asset that is associated either with any person or corporate entity, brand or business. Creating goodwill among people is important in almost every area of your life. Spreading goodwill makes people feel good about you, and it encourages them to spread goodwill to others. In business, creating goodwill can help you to build relationships that ensure the long – term success of your business.
Keeping in contact
Making contacts with other individuals is very important in networking. Some people attend events to give and collect business cards and never make any meaningful contacts. Today, in the era of digital media, we can increase our friends on social media. But, this is different from that of networking. It is because; networking is developing relationships over time that are mutually beneficial. Good networking skills are not gain new contacts on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn. Prioritize efforts to develop strong long-term relationships with important connections.
If you want to build a network, you need to invest time. Developing networking – building trust and increasing contacts as well as connection requires time. Your time itself is an investment in networking. By remaining positive, you will ensure that when you do finally meet someone that can help you, you will be able to create the first impression of the best one. You will win the heart of the other person and will be able to connect, network as well.
Focus your efforts
Networking must bring mutual benefits. So, your connection in the network is valuable. Contacts can be turned into long – lasting connections via networking. And connections lead to networks. By focusing on a quality business network over a large one, you will be able to prioritize your resources and time better and attain greater results.
Have a mastery in communication skills
Good communication skills are the most important factor in networking. Sometimes, people who are intelligent lack effective communication. If you are unable to communicate what you want effectively, people will be unable to act upon it.Be interested in others before asking them to be interested in you. Learn more by asking questions. Praise others. It will not cost you anything. Show you are interested in hearing from them.
It will eliminate barriers. Find something in common – it enhances conversation. Ask open questions to learn more. As soon as you find something, use it and expand to enhance conversation. When listening, be free of prejudices, assumptions or mindsets. Use any opportunity to get to know more people at events.
“Network” Bank Account status in Networking
Your deposit in a “Network” Bank Account determines the status of you. It reveals where you are?
When you do someone a favor, you make a deposit. Your favor to that person is perceived value by that person. When you have done a favor, it is as if you made a withdrawal from your bank account. Always have a positive network bank account, so people want to do you a favor.
Find out when others need help and help them before they ask for help.Always send a contact that could be beneficial for both. Always be there when others need help. It increases your image. break THE SILENCE; START TALKING TO BUILD YOUR NETWORK networking. Help without expecting a return. Networking will happen when your connections start helping you. From now on, how to be interested in and help others. You will see results for your entire life.
Always learn something new. The first step in building a network from scratch is to get outside your comfort zone and physically leave your house to do something new. Join an Online Organization. Support a Niche Professional Cause. Reconnect With Your Alma Mater. Ask Friends for Referrals.
When we get into a comfort zone, we tend to ignore what others need because it can force us to give up on our current and comfortable situation. Help others to be successful. Help them progress. Be perceived as an agent of progress. Make a positive impact, bring value to others.
7 Ways to Build Your Personal Brand with Networking
1. Work on to get for Referrals:
You can ask your friends, family members, well-wishers and associates for the contact information. Instead of asking for referrals from new connections, it is easy to approach, easy to convince them how it brings mutual benefit to them too. Randall S. Hansen, former CEO of Quintessential Careers, “‘friend-of-a-friend’ connection is quite strong and usually very successful. ‘Who else should I be talking to?’ is a good question to use when asking for referrals.” But take care to make sure that you are reliable, make a good impression.
2. Explore networking opportunity in local community:
There is always scope for local opportunities to network. You can approach through chamber of commerce, different organizations like the Engineers association, BNI, Bar Association etc. Catching local business leaders, local influencers play a vital role in building a strong network.
In addition to this, Shopify.com’s guide on Local Business Networks suggests that you also find other businesses that complement yours. For example, “if you own an online jewelry store, you should partner up with local businesses that are in the wedding industry.”
3. Have a – Plan:
In other businesses, how one should not approach prospective customers without doing research and without a Plan of Action first, In the same way, in networking, you should not contact them, without preparing or having a proper plan.
Financial journalist and Smart Money Squad member Miranda Marquit said you “should know your purpose” by asking questions like:
- What do you hope to accomplish?
- Do you want to identify potential clients?
- Do you hope to find a partner for your next venture?
4. Create long lasting Impression:
Each day your prospective customer meets many people. Among those you have to remember and how to create a long – lasting impression? Here, you have to think about how to stand out from the crowd?
One of the ways to create such a lasting impression is to have unique business cards, a catchy punching tagline or a piece of signature attire etc.
While talking, you can find the other person’s urgent needs if you can support him. It is one of the value-adds. Make yourself valuable to someone by asking yourself, “How can I help this person?”Shine in your element, attend events where you thrive.
5. Utilize Social Media:
In this digital era, social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter are ways to start connecting and building a strong network. And also, you can have online events or meetings where you can have more new contacts.
6. Be helpful always it gives back a lot:
Adrian Granzella Larssen, editor-at-large for The Muse, wrote that “a great way to make a lasting connection is to be helpful if you can be.” She added that when she offers “a piece of advice, some expertise, or to make an introduction to a contact, people are thrilled — more than you’d think.” Not only are people thankful, but they’re “also more likely to stay in touch when they know you are a great resource for them.” When you are helpful to others, they will not reject your business proposals either. They will not be ready to reject you.
7. Participate in events:
Don’t attend any events to network. If you participate in any events, conferences only to collect business cards, it won’t help you. Because, after reaching home, you will not follow up with one.
Instead of attending events only to network, participate to have fun or to learn something new. Because then you will not feel uncomfortable, and “you will be yourself, and meet those people with similar interests.” When this thrill is creates, you will have a greater chance of making real connections — and those connections are more likely to lasting.
Have fun, Enjoy Networking!!
Suggested Reads: 7 Ways to Build a Strong Network
– Annapoorna Sharma