About 95% of professionals think that they develop stronger business relationships through networking and in-person meetings.
Networking isn’t going to go away, even after a global pandemic. If you want to grow your business or career, networking has to be just as important as your social media accounts.
Do you want to know what it takes to be a networking pro? Follow these professional networking tips to make the most out of your time.
1. Know Your Purpose for Networking
Why do you want to invest in time and energy networking? What are your expectations? Who do you want to reach?
These questions are necessary in order to make the most of your time. You might want to connect with HR managers at certain companies.
A plumber might want to reach builders, salespeople, manufacturers, and architects. Click here to see more about opportunities in this niche.
The clarity around your reasons for networking will help you narrow down your opportunities.
2. Find Appropriate Groups
Where can you network and get in front of the right people? There are a lot of places to look. Thanks to the pandemic, there are online and offline opportunities to network.
Check out sites like Meetup and LinkedIn for networking groups. You might be able to find a couple of groups in your area to join.
Look for companies that have a broad reach across your industry as well. You can reach out to individuals within these companies through LinkedIn.
3. Focus On Relationships
There’s a difference between transactional relationships and real professional relationships.
Transaction relationships are built by people who only focus on the sale. You’ll hear from these people only when they want something from you.
Real professional relationships are built by people who focus on helping people in their circle. They’ll ask if you need any introductions or anything else.
You want to emulate the relationship builders and help others.
4. Invite People to Coffee
Networking meetings are great for meeting people. Networking is also about getting to know others and building relationships.
Invite some people you meet out to coffee or a virtual coffee. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and you create meaningful relationships.
5. Always Follow Up
Do you know how many people follow up with people they met at a networking event? Very few.
Always follow up with people you meet, even if they aren’t going to lead to a sale or a job. Check in periodically to see how they’re doing.
They may not be a good fit for your needs, but they probably know someone who is. Stay top of mind and you’ll get results.
The Best Professional Networking Tips
Networking has to be part of your marketing strategy. It’s the best way to get yourself in front of the right people, build relationships, and get your desired result.
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