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Networking 101 – Think about the Other Person First
The big word that everyone loves to hate is networking. Whenever someone brings up this word or the practice you can get some very interesting feelings and expressions. Some people love it, some hate it and others just don’t understand how it works, or don’t feel as if it is worth the time and effort.
Networking at it’s core is getting people to know people. No more and no less. It’s the beginning of a relationship, and it can either go very bad or very good, depending on how you approach it. When you are networking with people, it is not an invitation to give them a 2 hour commercial about what you do and then shove a card in their hand. That is not it at all.
Networking should be organic. You just met someone new, and you want to understand who they are, and what they do. They maybe the best chef in the town or may have an unbelievable and interesting story. You will never know unless you take the time to ask and LISTEN to what their response is when they are speaking with you.
Your goal as a networker is to learn as much about the other person and what they do as possible. Your goal is to begin a relationship with them where when you see a need for them or their services you can pass their information along, and to make enough of a good impression on them that if they have a similar experience they will do the same.
In most networking environments, people don’t say hello to you today and give you their business tomorrow. That takes time, additional conversations, and ultimately a feeling that they know, like and trust you enough to do business with you. So the next time you go to a networking event, change the way you do things and keep these points in the back of your head.