Here is a fun challenge: grab your phone and call or text 5 people out of the blue. Instead of asking for a favor, offer a favor. Touch base and be of assistance for a particular need or request. If your friend/colleague does not have a suggestion, give them some ideas of how you can help! Paying it forward and being a resource are awesome networking gestures!
Of course, the most important part of networking is following up! Make your follow up count and gain massive networking points. Ask your counterpart, potential customer about ways that you can further your networking endeavors and development. Asking good questions can not only spark a flood of referrals or leads, but can keep you on the other person's radar. They can be actively looking for opportunities for you!
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I can not begin to express the extreme importance in having a solid personal or professional brand. I preach out this in my seminars, workshops, events and articles to professionals and companies. Most importantly, having a consistent brand means power. This not only builds trust and brand loyalty but also credibility. I challenge all of you to make it a point, within the next 30 days to be intentional about having a consistent brand!
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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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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.