Not all networking happens at events. Some of the most effective networking you can do happens over coffee/lunch meetings. One-on-one catch ups, whether they’re in real life or virtual, give you a chance to really connect without the distractions of being in a big crowd.
Science has shown the most successful people are often also those who rely heavily on the power of networking.
If you have never really paid attention to what Networking can do for you…perhaps this quote might help.
“Your network is your net worth.” — Porter Gale
I believe today is a good day to start or become more intentional about building those relationships.
Here are five tips to make your one-on-one networking even more effective.
- Have a point to the meeting
A networking meeting is more likely to be effective if it’s clear why it’s happening. Are you looking for a mentor, or being a part of a new community? Has the person been recommended to you? Maybe you’re new in town and looking to connect with peers.
If it’s a get-to-know-you meeting, it’s okay to talk about common interests like books, movies, or sports or whatever you both fancy. I can imagine Mums connecting and chatting away about their kids.
- Be strategic
Do your research and identify leaders that you really want to connect with. Be clear about where you want to be in a year, five years’ time and seek out the people who can help you get there. Part of the point of networking is not just the people you meet, but the people they know who can help you grow your own network. This is so critical to note.
If you have changed jobs, sectors, or towns, connecting with the right people can help you hit the ground running.
- Make it mutually beneficial
A networking meeting isn’t just about what you can get out of the other person – there has to be some benefit for them too. Think about what you can offer. What are your special skills or connections? Do you have acquaintances or experiences in common? Pay the other person the respect of doing some background research so you know where they’re from, and what their career path and big projects have been. Be willing to GIVE!
- Respect their time
Remember this person has made time for you in their day. Be respectful of that and keep to the agreed time (don’t be late!). Don’t hog the conversation, and make sure the meeting doesn’t go over time, unless the other person is keen to keep talking. Give them your business card, but don’t hand over your resume unless it’s requested.
- Remember your manners
Be polite during your meeting and remember to follow up within twenty-four hours with a brief email or text thanking them for taking time out to talk.
If you committed to sending an article or book refence, remember to follow up. You want this first meeting to set the tone for a future meaningful relationship.
If it feels appropriate you could connect on LinkedIn or any other social media platform of choice.
If you are willing to put in the work…it will amaze you,how much you accomplished simply by leveraging the art of Networking.
“Success isn’t about how much money you make; it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” — Michelle Obama
What is your experience with this? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
GO! SPARKLE YOUR WORLD.