What makes you great at networking?
If Business Development is your profession, you’d be well-versed in networking, it comes naturally to many seasoned BD professionals.
However, what comes easily to some, can feel like a rather uncomfortable situation to others. Here, a few habits that we think we can see in those that are great at networking and maximising it as an opportunity. A few habits to strive for, that could make the next networking opportunity less daunting.
Listen carefully. Be there, fully, concentrate on what they are saying and make sure you understand. If you know what’s important to them you can establish if you may be able to provide value to them. Through advice or potentially your product or service offering. Only in this way will you be able to assess if you can respond to their needs.
Be helpful. When putting yourself into a networking situation it’s really all about advice, sharing info and contacts. The best thing you can do is to be genuinely helpful. Once you have listened carefully, understand their needs, you may be able to help, maybe through an introduction to someone else, a referral, by sharing your view or experience or a resource. If you help someone out, others will do the same for you.
Be reliable. If you promise an intro or to follow up with some material, actually do so. Be consistent, honest in what you are realistically able to share and keep in touch.
Follow up. This is really the most important part of networking in our opinion, as it is translating that first meeting into an actual contact, potentially opening up an ongoing conversation, establishing a relationship.