The purpose of this article is to remind you that there is a right and a wrong way in networking. It is great if you already started networking more, but I want to make sure that you choose the right way to do it.
If you are in business or taking decisions in business, you should keep growing your network. Expanding your circles should be our first priority. I am sure you know the well known African proverb that says that “if you wish to go fast, you should go alone, but if you wish to go far, then go with others”. So you understand that having more people around you is crucial for expanding your business and create more opportunities.
So what is the right and the wrong way for networking?
The simplest way to explain this is by telling you that if you try to sell anything rather than yourself and expertise to someone, is simply wrong. If you are trying to connect to more people, showing them your willingness to learn more about them and their offerings, that you are open to help then achieve their goals and that you will be by their side when needed, then you are doing great.
As we say at GBO, always ask what I can do for you instead of what is around here for me.
What shall I do to network correctly every time?
Make sure you only follow the following rules.
Curiosity: Keep yourself curious in discovering more about them, instead of telling them more about you.
Ask how you can help: Asking them first shows your willingness to help. Otherwise it feels mostly like you asked only because they asked about you.
Ask for their business cards: This is more like a trick, rather than a tip. Asking for their business card, enables you to give yours. It feels more welcome rather than just sharing your cards around.
Be positive: Nobody wants to deal with negative people. Stay positive.
Be prepared: Imagine someone asking you how they should help you (opportunity) and have no idea what to say and how you can ask for it. Opportunities don’t show up very often.
Choose networking events wisely: If you choose to attend events out of your target group of people, it will end up boring and it will make you feel that you are doing everything wrong.