Does the word networking make you go yuck? Rest assured you are not alone. Unfortunately, making connections and building a strong network is the only way to grow your business or land that next big job.
To help us all get over the icky-stickiness of it. I put together these tips to make your connections more valuable and networking more fun.
1) Do your homework about the host organization before you show up. Find out what the demographic of the group is, how often it meets, how many members it has, etc. This will save you time and help you make better connections.
2) Put some conversation starters in your bag of charm. Talking with strangers can be daunting. I get that. Overcome these hurdles by writing down good conversation starters and questions. Think of great interactions you’ve had recently and consider what sparked them.
3) Get creative. Normally the first question you’ll be asked after your name is, “What do you do?” Instead of telling people your job title, which just stifles conversation, tell them your job description. Make it fun, witty, and interesting. An example for an accountant: “I help my company stay profitable and prevent it from going bankrupt.” This will lead to follow-up questions, maybe a giggle, and before you know it, the conversation is flowing without those uneasy lulls.
4) Remember that no contact is a waste. Everyone you meet could possibly be of assistance in some capacity. Think of the bigger picture. This contact can come in handy later when someone in your network needs this particular person’s expertise. You’ll be able to put the two in touch, and perhaps they’ll both refer people to you in the future.
5) Turn your day into a networking opportunity. Whether you’re traveling, on the subway, or grabbing a quick coffee, there are always people around and chances to engage. Use them to get to know people. I do this all the time; in fact, striking up random conversations led me to my first real job opportunity in college, and it’s also how I met my husband. The key is: Be active and stay engaged.
News & Events:
Join me this weekend for a great new workout: Pilates Reform Your Mat. We’ll arial slings, flex bands, weighted balls and fitness circles for this workout. Come try it, sign up now. (click on workshop tab.)
Also SAVE THE DATE for our next Pilates Pamper event: Sunday Dec 7th. More details to follow…did someone say brunch?