Source: Becky Gaylord of Gaylord LLC a consulting practice.
The time-tested adage that “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” has never been more true than today. In this age of instant communication and social media, business moves fast and having the right resource accessible in a jiffy can make the difference between taking the lead or working from behind. Although technology is making networking a 24/7 activity, it’s still the in-person networking that forges the deepest connections. In order to help keep your networking skills sharp, Promotional Consultant Today offers five select tips offered by Becky Gaylord in her post titled “12 Most Nifty Tips for Networking.”
1. Set a modest goal ahead of time. Rather than going into the event as a blank slate, Gaylord suggests you set a few specific goals for the kind of information you will be looking get from your interactions.
2. Listen more than you talk. Often easier said than done, really listening will allow you to extend the conversation and start building the relationship by finding additional questions to ask. As Gaylord puts it, the people you interact with are “opening the door and letting you in by telling you about something then matters to them.”
3. Present yourself as someone you would like to meet. We’re not all cheery at all times and extended networking can be exhausting, but people like to be around others who are warm and cheery. It’s only a few hours of your life, so make the effort to be the kind of person with whom you would enjoy chatting.
4. Ask questions that require more than a “yes” or “no” answer. It may take some practice, but by asking questions that probe a little deeper than a “yes” or “no” answer, you will increase the likelihood that you will hit on a shared topic that can naturally extend the conversation and build a deep bond.
5. Pursue possibilities promptly. Whether the person you spoke with appears to be an immediate lead or not, follow up promptly with an e-mail or note to make an impression that sets you apart from all the others that person met during the event.
Source: Becky Gaylord worked as a reporter for major publications—the New York Times, Salon.com, Business Week and the Wall Street Journal—for more than 15 years in Washington, D.C.; Sydney, Australia; and Cleveland, Ohio. She was associate editor for the editorial page at the Cleveland Plain Dealer before she launched her consulting practice, Gaylord LLC. The company helps clients improve their external relations and communication, and increase their influence and impact. Gaylord blogs about that (and a few other things) at Framing What Works.