Have you heard about six degrees of separation? If you have never heard this expression, here it is for you. We all are just six people away from our desired goals. That means if you want to meet Barack Obama, you need to find six right people who can show you the way. The idea is about how knowing people will help you achieve your most cherished dreams. Networking strategies will help you find at least those six people who will make you successful in your endeavors.
Now, most of us do networking strategies in a wrong way. We think networking strategies means we need to go to people and try to persuade them to give us what we need. But that’s not how networking strategies should be done. Networking strategies is an art and if you don’t know how to do it the right away, most probably you will end up feeling frustrated with networking strategies and will give up in between.
In this article, we will discuss why you should do networking strategies; how to do it in the right way and we will talk about ideas which will help you connect with people who are way more influential than you so that you can learn from them and get better, smarter and influential too.
Why should you do networking strategies?
Many people have an idea that networking strategies are for people who are extroverts. But do you think it is true? Networking strategies are for everyone who wants to help each other grow in their career and personal life. If you know how many jobs are being closed simply by referrals, you will definitely take it seriously. Moreover, you may not know what the other person you meet at a party knows about a subject which can make a huge difference in your own life. The idea is not to be confined in the mind-set that if you are not an extrovert, you can’t network.
There is another issue with networking strategies People feel like imposters while doing it. Why? In the real sense, they don’t know how to do networking strategies and thus whenever they try to do it; they feel uncomfortable and start to criticize themselves. But you don’t need to feel as imposters. You can connect with people not always for getting something out of them. You can serve them as well. What if we tell you that you need to talk to as many people so that you can serve them with your products, services, recommendations, and ideas; then would you feel the same? No, right!
Networking strategies are not expanding the list of people you know (what most people do in Linked-In); rather networking strategies is expanding the list of people you touch. Now, do you think networking strategies with people makes sense? You bet it does.
How to do networking strategies the right way?
There is no one way. In this comprehensive guide, we will offer you eight specific steps you can take to be able to network like a master. Do you want to know how? Hang on here and read the article till the end. We have some great concepts to discuss here. Let’s get started right away.
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#1 – Give, not get
Your focus of networking strategies should be – “How may I serve you?” instead of “What’s in it for me?” and you will see this simple tweak in the mindset will make all the difference. You won’t talk to people because you need something from them or you need help by using You connect to people because you want to help them. Now, you may ask – how can I help someone who is more influential and more knowledgeable than me? Here’s the answer. Till we are alive we have to go through issues. Even after acquiring so much knowledge and influence, people face so many turbulences in their lives. No, you don’t need to poke your nose. But you can help them meet someone whom you know can help them. And boom! You did a service. Instead of trying to persuade them to do something for you, you did something for them first. And guess what, by doing this you win their hearts and they would remain your friends forever.
#2 – Be present
Whenever you are anywhere, be there. If it is with someone at a party, give your full attention to that person. Don’t get distracted or play with your phone while listening to them. It feels humiliating if you don’t listen while talking to the person. Pay so much attention to the person whom you are with at a party, s/he opens up with you at ease. If the person whom you are talking to you is comfortable, s/he will remain in touch with you, not because you are someone, top of the world; but because you have paid attention to them, while the others never did. So, no matter where you go, to a party or a meeting, if you meet someone exciting to talk to, meet them with your complete attention. Don’t use fillers always in between; rather ask meaningful questions as you listen to that person! Even if most people don’t realize this, their presence makes a huge impact on the people they want to connect with.
#3 – Listen more than you talk
In a setting where people gather and introduce each other, most people network as if they want to say everything about them at once to every person they meet. They think they need to blurt out everything about themselves. But that’s a creepy way to do networking strategies. The idea is to focus on other people and what they have to say; rather than what you have in your mind. Yes, definitely you can talk about you when required; but make it less. Listen more. Let the other person open up. Don’t listen just to respond back. Listen as if you want to know everything about them, their stories and what they are up to. It’s a great trait you would notice in all communication experts. They don’t rush to things. They listen. They understand. They ask questions. And then if needed, they tell a bit about themselves. The idea is to share whatever you have to say once the other person finishes talking. If you listen more and talk less, you will be able to give a benefit of doubt to the other person that you are someone who is eager to know about him/her. And once they realize that they would be interested in you as well. That’s how networking strategies work, not in a creepy way, but in a way that would serve everybody in the circle of networks.
#4 – Think long-term, not short-term
Networking strategies is a skill which you need to see in a long-term perspective. It’s not something you do to get something out of a person immediately. No. You do networking because you want to know more people and make them your friends. Business Philosopher Jim Rohn said that you are the average of five people you are most associated with. Now, most people when they go for networking think about short-term benefit and try to grab as much as they can from the person. They don’t realize being pushy is not the way to go. Rather you need to understand that the people you are networking with are humans too; they are not things to be used; rather they are individuals who also have deepest needs to connect, to feel appreciated and to feel special. And that’s how the relationship is being made (both professional and personal). Thus whenever you connect with anyone, try to think long term. Think about how you can help that person grow and get better at whatever they are trying to achieve and all your effort in networking strategies will work in your favor. And thus you will win.
#5 – Don’t over commit or feel guilty
Whenever you will go to a party or a professional gathering, you will meet a lot of people. It would be almost impossible to keep track of everyone. You don’t need to feel guilty for that. Rather be selective. Say hello to everyone, but make sure that you talk to people whom you like and admire. You should not pretend to like someone you don’t like in the real sense. If you do that networking would seem like you are faking. Select people usually 5-10 in every gathering and create a great connection. If you receive any unsolicited requests, don’t bother to say yes. Say no directly so that it doesn’t linger on. Don’t try to act nice if you really don’t want to do something. Networking is not about going against your nature. Rather networking strategies are connecting with people whom you feel you can share your ideas, business and professional life with. And don’t commit to anyone. Simply connect and don’t rush to giving any words to anyone. Giving words and not keeping them later is a terrible idea. Don’t do it. Take things slowly. Eventually, you will understand how to do networking when you meet a lot many people in a social or professional gathering.
#6 – Be honest
Honesty triumphs over everything else. If you are honest with your counterparts at a party, then it would win you many connections. The thing is you need to know a balance between how much to say and how much to keep with you. Being honest doesn’t mean that you need to go to people and say everything about your private life. Do not do it. Being honest means if someone asks you to do something which you don’t want to do, politely say no to them instead of trying to be nice. You don’t go to networking events just to be nice. Rather, you go to these events to make connections through which you can help each other grow. Even don’t brag about what you are not. Many people, in events like this, brag about their influence and fame which are not actually true. Do not do that. You will be caught eventually. Rather be authentic and express your real self. If you be honest, people around you will feel encouraged to be honest too. Honesty helps build the better network.
#7 – Take action immediately
Networking activities is a foundation to be able to make your dreams. So if you don’t take actions immediately, connecting with a lot of people won’t help you. For example, let’s say you agree to do something for a person you just have made the connection with. Maybe you both decided to introduce yourselves via emails. Don’t wait till you reach home. Pull out your smartphone and email the person directly right away. Taking action immediately is a great habit and if you can keep on taking action like this, you will make much progress through your connections. Here’s an idea which can revolutionize the way you look at networking activities. Whenever you make any connection, talk to them, understand them and you will get to know what they are struggling with eventually. Keep a diary with you always. Write the name of the person, write the issue s/he has been struggling with and mentions the date. Go back home and in your spare time, work on that problem. If you can solve the problem, call the person or email the solution to the person. If you can do it for every person you meet, you would create a great impact and you don’t need to worry about anything then on.
#8 – Only go to events that excite you
Don’t go to any networking activities events because you want to know more people. If you don’t feel excited to go to a place, chances are you will never feel driven to meet new people. Thus choose events that are close to your heart. Thinking about those events should make you feel amazing. All you need to do then is to carry yourself and enjoy the process. Networking activities are not something you should dread. You need to know what you like and what you dislike to be able to be better at networking activities.
These are best tips for building a great network and getting better at networking activities. These tips are given by Marie Forleo, entrepreneur and celebrated virtual teacher. If you are struggling with networking activities, use one of the tips above and apply. See for yourself what works and what doesn’t work. And you will figure out how to network, of course not the way you always thought networking activities are.
Here are some articles that will help you to get more detail about the networking strategies so just go through the link.