In my latest online networking article, I talk about ways to maneuver through high volume traffic while you are networking. I give helpful tips for approaching other networkers at events, following up with a meaningful message and adding value to the relationship. I also pinpoint areas which should be proceeded with caution.
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The SN Tip is to find common ground. At your next networking event make it a point to find common interests with your fellow networkers. Ask questions which uncover favorite restaurants, places to travel, movies to watch, books to read etc. Focus on building a relationship based on social interests rather than business dealings. For the most part, if you are looking to grow your business or find a job, there can be opportunities for that in the near future!
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Do not leave your networking up to chance! Once you have made a good and credible connection, go for the "referral ask". Be reasonable in your request and follow up with the success or failure of the referral. This is an excellent way to build your network and engage your fellow networker.
Of course do your due diligence by offering quality referrals as well. Make this a win-win and beneficial opportunity.
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The networking tip of the week is to get invited! While you are at networking events or following up afterwards, make it a point to build on those connections. Kindly ask your colleagues or counterparts if you can be invited to an event they are attending. This is a terrific way to expand and diversify your networks. You can scope out different meetups, clubs or organizations as a guest!
The Champion Networker (Chi Chi Okezie) is a networking, diversity and inclusion influencer known for infusing culture, history, language, arts and entertainment into her company's training and events.