Professionals Share Their Best Networking Tips – Part II

In this two part series, we will be exploring several key tips and tricks from respective colleagues of industry, coming together from widely divergent walks of life and professional careers, to share their collective insights into the vital importance of this very subject. We hope you will have as much to gain from their knowledge as we have.

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Effective networking is among the most highly valued attributes and pursuits of career professionals the world over; and for good reason. The only business people who don’t put at least some thought, attention, and energy into networking are those too green to the professional scene to realize its importance—that said, it is never long until they realize their mistake. Across the globe and its manifold industries, both new and established, the most successful leaders are those who continue to grow and nurture their professional networks.

Purpose and Motto

Our first contributor for part two of this series is Janet Falk, Public Relations Consultant. As one would expect of a leader in her field, Janet brings her expert experience to bear in delineating ways for one to stand out and be noticed amidst networking efforts. While such events are a general deluge of people working hard to be noticed, many of them miss the mark widely, whether they know it or not.

Firstly, when going into an event and making introductions, be intentional with your mindset. Make it about the person you’re engaging with, not about you. Further, do your research! Go into an event with at least five names you’ve identified as strong connection potentials, read up on their portfolio and/or LinkedIn page, and have some developed points to bring to the table.

Specifically, asking them how they managed and handled particular challenges or recounting their thought process for dealing with given obstacles in their professional career will open the field for not only a memorable encounter, but likely an insightful back and forth dialogue about valuable skill sets.

Relationships before Profit

Donald P. Roy, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Marketing (Jones College of Business—Middle

Tennessee State University), has gifted us with a direct quote of excellent advice, which we’re proud to share with you now:

“My favorite networking tip is one I picked up at a networking even a few years ago; and have practiced it since then. [Seek] out one more person to meet before leaving an event. The typical behavior observed at the end of an event is most attendees get up from their seats and rush the door. As the room begins to empty, find one person you have not talked with yet and speak to them before leaving. If nothing else, the encounter could boost one’s confidence in future networking situations.”

Professor Roy goes on to assert, and reiterate, that bringing to the fore a mindset of giving, rather than receiving, can be a critical factor in making real connections. Sharing information, passing along articles, promoting and discussing others’ work and achievements—all of these lay the groundwork for a reciprocal relationship, developing things in a way that makes people all the more inclined toward goodwill and professional courtesy.

The goal of networking can be reduced to building good relationships. Putting others first is a sure way to achieve the goal of networking.”

The Best Business is Personal

For our closing section, we’d like to share the insights of Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO of Mavens and Moguls, a global branding and marketing company she started over 17 years ago. In that time, her company has grown by leaps and bounds, and a great bulk of business flows in directly from networking efforts. Paige’s golden rule is that people do business with people they know, and your best time spent is time spent building your networks. Network during the day in person, and in the evenings, network online.

Always remember, Paige reminds us, that prospective clients and business partners can come from anyone, anywhere, anytime. Therefore, one should always put their best foot forward, seeking to make good impressions and excellent, long-lasting impressions.

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In closing, pull out your notepad and take note of Paige’s excellent list of recommendations:

DO:

  • Be nice to everyone & make friends before you need them—you never know who is in or will be in a position to help!
  • Give before you get.
  • Stop selling, start listening.
  • Find a buddy to go to networking events with so you can work the room together, it makes it much more comfortable and fun.
  • Bring plenty of business cards.
  • Send follow-up notes to best prospects after the event.

DON’T:

  • Monopolize people’s time or let them do it to you—chat briefly and exchange info so you can follow up after.
  • Over-share: let them do most of the talking.
  • Get into political discussions with people you do not know.

The clever professional is always willing to re-imagine previously held suppositions, and if better business comes from being a better more genuine person, then that is all to the good.

 

 

Fred Coon, CEO

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