Are you networking to the best of your ability?
To do so, it’s important to follow the 3 Cs: Connect, Communicate and Current.
Networking is all about making connections. But how do you do that? It can be from behind your computer via LinkedIn, but the best way is to get out to functions and to put your best face forward. Networking groups are set up for you to do just that. At Pagoda Business Network functions, we aim to make the networking experience both fun and effective. Every get-together is different and you’re encouraged to ditch your elevator speech (aka sales pitch) and really get to know the others in the group on a personal, and professional level. With the right approach, you can meet new people, learn what they do and build your referral base. Remember, starting off with casual getting-to-know-you topics will almost always get you further in building long-lasting relationships versus trying to sell others on your services or products from “go.”
Connection points can also come in the form of volunteering with local community groups and projects. If you love animals, you might help out at a shelter. If you’re big on environmental issues, consider signing up for a neighborhood clean-up. If you enjoy working with children, become a Big Brother or Big Sister.
You might be surprised at the number of connection opportunities in front of you if you take time to sit and consider them.
We’ve already touched on the need to be personable when you meet new connections. But remember to stay “middle ground” in doing so. Topics like pets, kids, free time fun, sports, vacations and the like resonate with many and can help strike up a fun back-and-forth conversation before moving into work-related topics.
When attending a networking function and looking to expand your resource list, you’ll also want to remember that oftentimes less is more. Your goal should not be to meet each and every person in the room. Make a few quality connections at each meeting you attend.
Finally, once you’ve established a great referral base, be sure you keep in touch. Send cards to acknowledge birthdays, anniversaries and the like. Congratulate your friends on accomplishments. Set lunch dates. It’s important to remain relevant in today’s busy world. It’s also nice for the person on the receiving end to know you think of him or her. In doing so, you’ll likely encourage a trend for them to do the same.
Want to meet other area professionals and make new friends? Join us! Grab tickets to the next event now!
Nikki Murry is editor of Berks County Living magazine and a freelance writer, editor, proofreader and blogger. In her free time she is an active dog rescue volunteer and enjoys spending time with her 14-year-old son, Riley, and her three dogs: Buddha and Shelly, French Bulldogs, and Bruno, a Boston Terrier.