18 Tips for Networking

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Dieser Tage löse ich meinen allerersten auf WordPress betriebenen Blog auf, den ich damals unter dem Namen "Batrepreneur" (Batman+Entrepreneur) im Sommer 2013 ins Leben gerufen habe. Der Blog, der sich im Kern mit den Themen Entrepreneurship, Online Marketing und Blogging befasst hat, bietet auch einige Querverweise zum Thema Sales. Meine spannendsten und für die Leser wertvollsten Beiträge aus meinem alten Blog möchte ich hier noch einmal auf Sales Pitch veröffentlichen. Dieser Beitrag handelt von 18 Tipps zum Thema Netzwerken:

As you dive in into the whole networking thing there are a few guidelines that come along with it. Like any other form of social behaviour, networking follows certain rules offline as well as online. Here are 18 tips for networking that you should consider for your next opportunity. Always remember:

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.” — Oscar Wilde

1.First Impression Matters

– Either it is by face-to-face or via phone or email. Always start with a smile and clear voice to start the coversation. As people tend to make up their minds about others within the first few seconds it is inevitable to make a good first impression in order to not start on the wrong foot.

2.Do Not Ask Directly for a Job

– People tend to see networking as a second job fair – in fact, it’s not! So avoid asking immediately for a job. Networking should be seen as an opportunity to gather around in a group with the same interests and exchange useful contacts and information.

3.Give And Take

– Networking is a two-way exchange. Of course there should be a benefit for both participants. That’s why you shouldn’t approach with a „What is in for me“-mentality.

4.Prepare Yourself

– Good networking starts already before entering the „networking zone“. Therefore, make some research about people or companies that you know for sure who will attend the event. A proper research is the best thing to set up a promising networking basement.

5.Slow Down Expectations

– Networking is all about relationship building. The less expectations you have in advance the bigger is the potential outcome supposed to be. Also if you keep your expectations low you will be much more at ease getting in touch with new people rather than looking needy for contacts.

6.Be Patient

– Take a long breath if you want to see immediate results on networking. Sometimes it just takes time and patience to see that connections „pay off“. But on a longterm you will be happy having those contacts for different needs and demands.

7.Set Up a Database

– Keep an on-going list of the names and contact information of the people in your network. Additionally take notes on where you met them, what you talked about and how they instantly can remember you when you keep this relationship on distance.

8.Networking is a State of Mind

– I bet that most of you see networking taking place in a room with rows of employers that wait for their next catch. However, networking is all around us already in daily life. If you don’t attend network events keep your eyes open for every situation you talk about business. Never underestimate an opportunity to make a connection.

9.Share Your Passion

– Do you know your WHY? If you are convinced of yourself or your service / product share your story with others. This way you leave a remarkable impression on them. One big advantage is that if you are passionate about it you can easier ignite the fire in others.

10.Business Cards

a) Carry Business Cards with You
– That’s absolutely a basic. I can’t stress this point enough as it is the flagship of your personality when it comes to networking. Beyond, it doesn’t just reflect your peronality but also can give the decision for others keeping in touch with you or not.
b) See the Benefits
– In nowadays networking times it’s almost a must carrying a business card with you. But, luckily it’s the best welcome opportunity to distinguish yourself from others already before the first contact happens. If you look out for a nice design (depending on your business) this defenitely will help you to stand out from your competitors.
c) Check Demands
– Every business section requires different demands. If you are a graphic designer the expectation for submitting an outstanding business card are unless higher. Therefore your business cards should always reflect a big part of your business with a personal note from yourself. Check this post for alternitives.

11.Be the Person You would Like to Meet

– Change the site for a moment and try to figure out what it would be if someone comes up to you and starts a conversation with you. What would you expect? How should the other one interact with you? With doing a few turnaround thinkings you get access to the important points of networking and what it takes.

12.Feed the EGO

– No matter what status your counterpart has, most of them will gladly assist you on your demands. This way people feel important and they are likely to be happy giving you advice. When asked it means that they are recognized for their expertise. Therefore feed the ego a little bit and get your necessary information.

13.Empathie is Helping You

– Let’s take a quick look back to point 2. Of course you shouldn’t be to offensive on the first interaction. It makes you look needy and decreases your negotiating position. However, almost everyone knows what it’s like to be out of work or looking for a new job. So don’t feel guilty if you immediately come across with the all-in question – It’s likely that they’ll sympathize with your situation as long as emphatie is not a foreign word for them.

14.Leave the Comfort Zone

– As for my introvert fellows it can be hard to challenge networking tasks – give it a go! A new environment and uncomfortable situations will not decrease the importance for your business to attend those events if you don’t just want to build your trust on an online network. Try to expand your network outwards, beyond your comfort zone or usual sphere of operation.

15.In Good and Bad Times

– Being unemployed can be isolating and stressful. But by connecting with others, you get some much needed encouragement, fellowship, and moral support.

16.Focus on Long Term and Quality Relationships

– It can be a big boost for you coming back home with a bunch of business cards, recommendations and new promising contacts. But generally you shouldn’t rely on all of them the same way as it will leave no space for quality contacts and relationships. Look for yourself at 3-4 long term relationships that you can build up. Those quality contacts will naturally lead to other contacts.

17.Embrace the Opportunities

– Nowadays networking can have various benfits for you. At the bottom line it’s about meeting people. You have the chance to get in touch with people that have a knowledge that goes beyond yours. Even if you are an expert in some topics there are always people out there that are smarter than you are. It’s not a shame acknowledging this rather than an opportunity to widen your knowhow from and with others.

18.Stay in Touch

– If you had a great exchange of thought, ideas and information ask your conversation partner the best way to stay in touch. Some people like email or phone; others prefer social networks like LinkedIn or Xing. Get in touch not too late after the event. Refer to something that you have discussed in your chat as it will make it easier for people to remeber you.

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