In our last article Networking Tips Part 1, we shared 9 great tips to help you network more successfully. In this article, we’ll share 8 more and close with a quick summary all 17 tips.
Don’t Prejudge Someone’s Relevance
You never know how someone can help you, so don’t make the mistake of assuming they can’t. While a particular person may not be on your targeted networking list, if you happen to meet them and they’re open to a relationship with you, treat them as if they are just as important as your top 10 targets. Perhaps they simply run a small blog, but you never know how big they’re readership may become, which could in turn make their blog a great publicity outlet for in the future.
Define How Long You’ll Take
People are busy, especially important people you’re trying to connect with. So when the door opens up for you to speak to them about something in particular (not at a networking event), make sure you let them know ahead of time how much of their time you’ll need. You can tell them, “I’ve got something I’d really like to run by you, and it should only take 2 or 3 minutes of your time. Do you have the time now?” This let them know what to expect, and it also shows that you respect their time; and they’ll in turn respect you more for that.
Ask For Permission
In some situations, you may need to ask someone for something before you’ve gotten to know them, and before they’ve granted you that level of access. In these cases, ask for permission to share more about the request before you blurt it out.
You can ask the person if you can speak with them about XYZ. Of course it will help if the nature of XYZ is something of interest or applicable to them. If they say yes, not only have you received their permission to speak further with them, but you’ve also got them to say yes to you one time. As a rule, it is generally considered that if you get someone to say yes to you three times, they will be much more apt to grant your request. Keep in mind that it’s not necessary to ask permission for everything, but if you now that a particular dialogue is going to end in you making a request, than asking permission ahead of time can greatly increase your chances of a favorable outcome.
Make networking a part of your daily routine
If you contact one new person (or one person you haven’t communicated with in a while) per day, that’s five each week. That’s 250 people per year. It doesn’t take that long to send an email a day, and you never know what each may turn into. Perhaps someone you haven’t spoken with is now in a position to help you or be helped by you, or perhaps they know someone you really need to meet.
Don’t take it personal
People are busy, and not everyone is going to have the time to speak with your or help you. If someone says, “no”, you probably just caught them at a bad time. Don’t hound them for a yes. Move on and get back to them later….and don’t take it personal. Their “no” more than likely is not a reflection of how they feel about you.
Remember to follow up
Whenever you meet someone for the first time, be intentional about following up with them a day or two later. It doesn’t have to be much. A brief email (or written note if applicable) will suffice. This is a great way to further develop the relationship. You can mention a topic you spoke about with them or comment on something relevant to them. This is better than just saying, “It was great meeting you,” which is so bland and glaringly says, “Hey I’m just following up with you because I know that’s what I’m supposed to do, but I don’t really have anything to say to you!” You don’t want to be that person. So say something short but relevant. It will likely set you apart in the mind of the other person.
Avoid Sending Long Initial Emails
If your first contact with someone is by email, keep it short. Don’t come out the gate trying to sell them on you by emailing them a five paragraph message on why the two of you should connect. No matter how good of a writer you are, people general sigh when they encounter long emails. So keep your initial email short with a bit of praise for them and/or an interest in a current project of theirs. After they reply to your email, your subsequent emails can be longer, but like we’ve said, overly long emails are generally not well received. So as a rule, no matter how long you’ve known someone, it’s a good idea to be as brief as possible in any email.
Following up on a no
We said earlier you don’t want to continuously pester someone who declines your request to meet, but after a few weeks, it’s ok to reach out again (if you really want to connect with the person). Perhaps they were just busy the last time, but now would be better. You may also consider just dropping in on them (if it’s not inappropriate). A face to face visit is not only a sure way to get some time with someone, but it can also be a refreshing break from the daily grind of the other person.
1. Network to help other people, not just yourself. Be friendly and helpful. People like doing business with people they like, and be genuine about it. While it can take a while to build trust with someone, it takes even longer to overcome coming across as in insincere opportunist.
2. Be a great listener. Networking is really about getting to know other people, and you can’t really get to know someone if you’re doing all the talking. If you listen well, you will get to know their stories and learn things about then that will help you connect them with the right information and people. This will make you very valuable to your network.
3. Get your hands dirty by volunteering. You will always meet interesting people on the volunteer field, from stay at home moms to corporate board members.
4. Don’t be so quick to email. While email is the quickest and easiest way to follow up, it is also the most likely to get lost in the inbox at best, or completely ignore at worst. So when you really want to develop a relationship with someone, consider is a phone call would be the best follow up. You can also suggest a face-to-face meeting or a video chat.
Whatever type of networking you’re doing, Lone Star Quick Print can supply you with all the printed materials you need, such as business cards, fliers, brochures, etc. Contact us today at 281-440-1935 or at https://lonestarquickprint.com to learn how we can help your business.