It’s vital to build connections as you progress in your professional and personal life. After all, it’s impossible to grow if you keep thinking that you’re just an island. This is why networking is an essential skill that everyone needs to learn. Whether you’re a startup looking to build your business or an employee planning to climb the corporate ladder, it’s a necessary endeavour that will help with future success.
How to Build Your Connections
Building your connections is easier said than applied into action. The idea of meeting new people with whom you will create professional relationships can be nerve-wracking. Nevertheless, overcoming this anxiety is the first step to building healthy partnerships in the future.
If you want to get better at networking, here’s a six-step guide that can show you how:
Step #1: Make Preparations
Although it’s convenient to converse with people online, networking events are face-to-face occasions. For this reason, you need to be loaded with business cards, brochures, and other paraphernalia you can exchange with your new connections. Remember to include or highlight any impertinent details like your contact number or email address on these materials.
Step #2: Set a Goal in Mind
Attending a networking event should be in line with your career goals. It can be a personal goal, such as connecting with at least ten people, or an objective one, like connecting with industry-specific individuals. The more specific your networking goals are, the easier you can measure if your efforts were a success or if you need to level up your skills.
Step #3: Meet with People, Not Brands
It can be tempting to throw a sales pitch with the first person you meet. However, that’s not the purpose of going to a networking event. Remember that these occasions are social gatherings first and foremost. Although the attendees are business professionals, you need to meet them as people first and not as business prospects.
Step #4: Learn When to Listen
Networking isn’t always a contest of being the first person to speak in a group. Sometimes, it’s better to listen intently to people you find interesting. This allows you to gauge if they’re worth building a partnership with or if you’re in the wrong crowd. Being a good listener saves you plenty of time and energy to learn about an individual, allowing you to move from one conversation to the next.
Step #5: Mind Your Time
Networking events don’t usually last too long. Although career fairs can last for a whole day, most business conferences last under three hours or so. Unless they’re extended holiday events, business seminars are generally short. This leaves you with around 30 to 45 minutes to meet people and consider if they’re worth connecting with. Knowing how to budget your time will help you meet more people despite the time restraints of the event.
Step #6: Follow Up on Your Contacts
Sometimes, your conversations during networking events will feel like ages ago once you wake up the next day. The same is true for the people you connected with. Don’t forget to follow up with your new contacts and gauge their interest in your business. You have one to two business days to remind them who you are and why you’re worth staying in touch with.
If you’re willing to take the leap to expand your business circles, you’ll discover the many different paths you can take to further your career. As you expand your networks, you’ll see that numerous opportunities can open doors for continued growth and success. This is why it’s necessary to attend corporate events and networking opportunities.
Thanks to technological advancements, the barrier for entry to different networking events is accessible with just the touch of a button. At NRG Networking, we can give you the right opportunities to expand your business circles. To learn more about upcoming business networking events in Perth, subscribe to our service today!