Networking involves more than just attending events and paying club memberships. It is more than just handing out business cards and selling. It is more than just "working" the room and self promotion. It is involves growing, developing and maintaining a true network.
We operate in networks. We communicate, both verbally and non-verbally, on a regular basis. So, why not use these skills to create a dynamic support system for success?? At your next networking event, have a specific plan for building a strong network. Be prepared, focused and aware. Last but not least, follow up with your contacts for making good connections!
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The SIMPLEnetworking tip is to give value. So many times as new networkers, we feel like we have nothing to offer. We could have just started a new job or position, become a new member of an organization, in transition or a student. So perhaps you can not provide a lead, a referral or patronize your counterpart. Know that you can always add value.
Consider this value proposition as intangible but still useful to the networking or relationship building process. You can offer thanks and gratitude. You can offer respect and commitment. You can offer accountability. You can also offer resources or engage in knowledge sharing. In other words, do not be intimidate or afraid to network. Be concerned with adding value and being beneficial to the relationship.
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.