It’s no secret that business and career success is built on relationships, and networking is one of the most effective and fastest ways of building them. Networking gives you the opportunity to build trust, create mutually beneficial partnerships and alliances, and meet and help more people.
Not only that, networking is generally cost-free and helps to keep you ‘in the know’ and staying in the radar of others.
Although it can be daunting, and even intimidating at first, by developing key networking habits a brief conversation or meeting can turn into something more meaningful. Here are five essential habits for greater networking success:
- Build Authentic and Trusted Relationships
Networking is more than just exchanging business cards; it’s about building genuine relationships. Take the time to get to know people beyond their professional roles. Show a genuine interest in their stories, aspirations, and challenges. When your connections feel valued and understood, they’ll be more likely to support your business or career journey.
- Be a Good Active Listener
In the bustling world of networking, being a good listener is crucial. Be fully present during conversations, focusing on what others are saying. Active listening allows you to grasp valuable insights, understand the other person’s need, and identify potential opportunities. This applies to both customers and potential strategic alliances and partnerships. Your ability to listen and empathise will make you stand out.
- Give Before You Receive: Share Your Knowledge and Expertise Freely
Networking is not just about taking; it’s also about giving. Share insights, offer solutions, and help others overcome challenges. By giving freely, you establish yourself as a valuable resource, building goodwill and reciprocity with your network.
- Stay Curious and Open to Learning
Stay up-to-date about industry trends, emerging technologies and your customers’ evolving needs. Attend networking events, workshops and webinars to expand your knowledge and skills. The more you learn, the better equipped you’ll be to steer your business towards new opportunities and growth.
- Follow Up and Stay Engaged
Closing the loop is crucial in networking success. After meeting new connections, follow up promptly to express your appreciation and continue the conversation. Stay engaged through email, social media or virtual meetups. Regularly nurture your relationships with value-driven content, updates about your business, and by celebrating the success of your network. Keep the lines of communication open ensures your connections remember you when opportunities come up.
Best of all, just about anywhere you go (including online) is potentially a networking opportunity, with more opportunities out there than you could possibly service in a lifetime, so develop these habits and see how far they can take you. If you are wanting to accelerate your networking skills development, here at Rapport Leadership we can assist you and your team with a range of training and 1:1 coaching options. To discuss what is most suitable for your needs and budget, get in touch today.
For more tips and ideas to help your networking success, you may like to also check out: Your Guide to Developing Business Relationships & Partnerships to Help Your Business Grow and Why People Don’t Listen.