What is networking and are you doing it without even thinking about it?
Do you chat to colleagues when making a coffee or waiting for the lift? You may think that all you’re talking about is last night’s TV or the state of the weather but without realising it you’ll be networking. These interactions with colleagues can be the start of building a network of people who can add to your business success. What might start out as an innocent conversation might provide the answer to a problem you’ve been struggling with for ages.
Don’t assume that networking is all about selling or getting leads – basically it’s about making connections and these connections may come in very useful one day.
To ensure that you network successfully, follow these simple rules:
Be interested – in what the person you are talking to is saying to you – you never know what you might get out of the conversation
Be interesting – don’t just talk about yourself – give a little though and you may get more back than you anticipated
Answer correspondence promptly – don’t just leave that email sitting there, a prompt response might open up a discussion that may prove beneficial
Don’t let your eyes wonder – if someone is talking to you, even if they’re not the most interesting person in the world, make them feel like they are – look at them whilst they’re talking and ask questions that may prompt them into expanding on a subject you’re interested in.
Remember that we are social animals and whichever method you’re using to communicate it doesn’t take much to be sociable. Get it right and you could open up a number of doors that will benefit not just you but the organisation you work for too, get it wrong and the doors may start to close.