Networking is the social or interpersonal evaluations (e.g., friendship, acquaintanceship, dislike), communication, and transfer of resources that connect members of a group, unit, or collective in a relatively organized system.
Effective Networking Strategies/tips:
Make appointments in advance. Prepare materials and a speech, as well as your contact information (some people even make business cards). Before making copies, make sure your materials have been proofread. You’ll be processing a lot of data, so set up a system to keep track of it.
When you introduce yourself, always stand. Point to the name tag you are wearing. Make eye contact and give a firm handshake. It’s possible for first impressions to last a lifetime.
No matter where you are, you need to be prepared to market yourself right away. Know your strengths and what you can bring to the table, and be prepared to communicate them. Practice and prepare.
Don’t be afraid to talk to someone. You can build on the answers if you ask open-ended questions. Keep in mind that networking is about more than just meeting people. People want to know that you have listened to what they have to say and that you value their experience.
It’s likely that the person you’re networking with was a colleague at one point or another. It’s never a bad idea to seek advice. Learn from someone who has gone through the same thing you have. When you ask someone for help, they usually appreciate it because it shows that you value their opinion and see them as a good source of information. It is helpful to make it clear to those you contact that you are not looking for a job but rather for information and advice.
Before the meeting, take the time to learn about the groups or organizations and conduct research. It will be helpful to prepare in advance. You can learn more in-depth information about them, the environment, and the organization by asking more intelligent questions. Ideally, this will assist you in having a conversation that is relaxed and demonstrates your interest.
Even after you leave, your network should continue to grow. You never know when you might need to call on the people you’ve met through networking. Don’t give up on networking because it will always be necessary to gain access to that “hidden information.” Ensure that you promptly respond to information provided to you by contacts.
Make each list and decide what you will do to meet each person or build a stronger relationship with them. Plan the best ways to connect with each person as you go along.
As you establish new goals and build connections. You’ll be able to build relationships more quickly if you approach your networking efforts with more deliberateness.
Keep in mind that networking is not the same as speed dating. Making valuable connections rather than meeting as many people as possible is the objective. When you end the conversation, be courteous and polite.