An important aspect of a successful career is the ability to meet people and leverage the contact to good use. Most of the jobs at senior levels are swung more through contacts than through head hunting firms. Contacts also lead people to new customers, partnerships and play a critical role in the success of that Individual.
So what is networking?
Anything from striking a conversation with a cab driver to a stranger in the elevator falls under the ambit of networking. Some people are naturally good at opening a conversation with anyone at any scenario while some might have inhibitions breaking ice or even may not be too keen in participating in a conversation initiated by others.
Tips on Networking:
1) A friendly smile is a good start at getting to know people we meet every day like neighbours, Co-commuters on public transport, Building lifts etc
2) Make it a point to meet and self introduce as many people as possible in trade fairs, conferences, etc as the whole agenda there by itself is to meet people
3) The smile can soon convert to a hello followed by a self introduction and an intro line like “ Hi, I see that we have been travelling the same route and I am Mark & work with…. Or live in….“
4) If there is an opportunity to cross paths with an important person you always wanted to meet, make sure to read up enough about that person and quote areas that they would appreciate to hear about them or their company during the conversation
5) Actively exchange business cards & make it a point to store these business cards in a manner that it can be easily accessed at any point of time. Bric app is a great tool to quickly exchange and store business cards in such instances
6) Once a contact is established, make it a point to stay in touch by quickly sending them a “nice meeting you “email and keep refreshing memories with periodic pleasantries and festive greetings
Hope this article was of use to people who wish to polish their networking skills and more to follow in the blogs to come