Maximizing Connections: 3 Tips for Better Networking

Group of People with Social Networking

(DGIwire) —  Many people agree that between every two individuals on this planet exists a short chain of their acquaintances. This is why networking is a crucial aspect of any successful lifestyle, and is synonymous with good business practice. Leveraging a new introduction requires focus, persistence and a good show of respect. One may never know whom someone else knows, and the possibility of new introductions is what alone makes daily interaction worthwhile.

That being said, here are 3 tips for better networking offered by Deborah Solomon, money manager and Owner of the Wall Street Dead aHead Networking Events™.

Actually Listen to What People “Do”:

When someone begins to explain what they “do,” don’t waste these valuable thirty seconds by daydreaming or enjoying a mental break. As people generally have a hard time devoting their undivided attention, good attentiveness during the most routine conversations will not go unnoticed. When someone talks about their work, become completely immersed and find something interesting; this is where they will hint at the type of connections they may have.

Follow-up– Even When You Think There Was No “Connection”: 

Following-up after a meeting with a phone call, email or even a written letter is completely necessary, and can lead to opportunities where they’re least expected. Just because a meeting did not go smoothly, oftentimes, much can be made up for by following-up. In fact, sometimes just the act of following-up can be the determining factor in having someone take a second look at an idea, opportunity or individual, when they recognize the extra effort. The bottom line is two-fold:  making no effort to contact someone after a meeting or introduction is unacceptable, and following-up is useful even when it seems like it has no purpose.

Manage Your Referrals:

Referrals can lead to great success, depending on how those introductions are managed. Make sure the referral is contacted within the first 48 hours, as the person who gave the referral will have likely told them to expect a call. If this can’t be done, let the referee know. Also, let the referee know how the meeting—that was enabled by their introduction—went, as they are likely wondering about the outcome, and this will help them make more and better future referrals. And always remember to act respectfully; in being referred, an individual is being vouched for as well, as the referee puts his or her credibility on the line when creating the introduction.

“The word ‘work’ is part of the word ‘Networking’ for a reason: It’s a job you have to do and one you must do  well to be successful,” concludes Ms. Solomon.  “The most important part of the job of networking is communicating in a timely fashion. In today’s age, windows of opportunity open and close much more quickly than they used to. The outcome of remembering (or forgetting)  to send a thank you note can actually change one’s life—I’ve seen it happen.”

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