Doesn’t matter if you are studying, working or running a business. Networking is very important part of our lives. People do networking for different purposes such as making new friends, expanding professional and business connections, as well as looking for a life partner. There are a lot of places that we can go for networking. In fact, anywhere there is human, you can do networking.
Basically, we can categorise the places for networking into 3 major types, gatherings, organised events and communities. However, always bare in mind that networking is not only limited to these, networking can be done throughout our daily lives even we are walking on the street and talking to strangers. Sometimes networking can be very challenging such as having the fear to talk to new people, having no clue how to follow up with new connection or having no reply from the new connection.
Those are very common challenges. I love to share 3 tips for effective networking that I learnt from my personal experience to help you having a better networking experience. Be purposeful, be memorable, and be accountable.
When I was attending networking events initially, I went to the event without a specific goal or purpose in my mind. I ended up wandering around the events, shaking a few hands, exchanging a few pleasantries and leaving the events almost empty handed. As you can see, going to networking without purpose is like driving in the town without destination. Remember to always set your purpose before you invest your time for networking.
I observed from my past experience, I usually collected a big stack of name card from networking events. Yet, I realised when I go through the name card, half of them I don’t remember who are they. From the other half that I remember, half of them don’t remember who am I. Roughly, you get approximately 25% connection rate from the event. Therefore, one of the key to increase the connection rate is be memorable.
How to be memorable?
- Giving compliments
- Talk to as many people as possible but focus to build stronger rapport if you meet someone who share the similar interest with you.
- Make note on the name card so that you can remember their details
- Get connected in social media apps right after the events
- Share a selfie together and send them when you get connected with them on social media apps.
Being accountable means walk the talk. If you said you want to do something for the person, make sure you do it. Being accountable will help you to build rapport, trust and respect with others. For example, if you met someone who needed a good dentist and you happen to know one, you said you will introduce the dentist to him. Make sure you do it.
Doing networking is not about how many name cards you can distribute, is not about how many name card you have collected and is not about how many people you talk to in the events. Doing networking is about the effectiveness. When you invest your time in networking, be purposeful, be memorable, and be accountable. You will definitely be the greatest networker in the world.