5 Reasons Why Your Networking Should Be Organic

Posted on April 9, 2013. Filed under: Business, Business Development, Networking | Tags: , , , , , , |

Image Source:  Boston North Business Association

I recently hosted a webinar for Independent Ladies Club entitled, “Master the Art of Successful Networking”, the speaker Erika Anderson talked about how networking should be organic and not forced, and we should think of networking as building friendships.  This made me think about the top 5 ways to network organically:

1.  Treat networking like dating–  When you meet someone at a networking event you shouldn’t think of them as someone who should be ready to purchase your product or service today, tomorrow, or even next week for that matter, but someone who you would like to get to know more about and to find out if there is a possible business connection.  Just like dating, successful networking takes time and effort to get to know someone on a deeper level.

2.  Listen more than you talk–  Communication is key with any type of relationship and is especially important when learning about someone at a networking event.  Some people have a habit of talking about how great their business is and what a great product they have, and they never take the time to truly listen and learn from the other person.  When you truly listen and understand, you get to know what the needs of an individual may be and you can think about how you can help him or her.

3. Make a connection on a personal level–  No matter how different we all are, there are usually key things that we can connect on, like hobbies, places we’ve lived, places we’ve traveled to, schools, sports, music, etc.  There is always something you can find in common with someone.  Try to connect on that personal level.

4.  Always think of someone in your network that would be a good referral or referral source for the other person–  When you listen carefully, you understand the needs or target market of the other person and  you can think about who you know that would be good to introduce them to or connect them with.  This is a great way to strengthen your connection with someone by showing you’re making an effort to help them out by introducing them to other people in your network.

5.  Strengthen the connection by connecting on social media-  more and more people find it acceptable to connect online for networking purposes.  If you meet someone at a networking event follow-up with them and deepen your connection by connecting online.  I recommend connecting on professional social networking sites like LinkedIn instead of more personal social networking sites like Facebook.  It’s a great way to keep the connection going long after the networking event has ended.


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