Networking is all about relationship building and being human. Whether you’re attending a networking event or just working toward meeting new people there are some fundamentals to keep in mind. Jessica Fabrizi with onedegreetoconnect.org gave a presentation at Ignite Zurich on the 10 Commandments of Networking and provides the best practices to networking effectively.
1. Practice Reciprocity
Reciprocity means give and take. But the focus is on the give. You should give regardless. Do not expect anything in return.
When you genuinely like people, you realize that every person is unique, every person is interesting, and that we’re all just trying to get by. So if you don’t get something back in return immediately, don’t worry. Your network will take care of you.
2. Make It A Lifestyle
Start networking now! Or as author Harvey Mackay put’s it, “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty”. Don’t wait until you need something to start networking. This will put you into a mindset of trying to take instead of give. It will be an uphill battle.
Network anywhere and everywhere. There are fascinating people all around you!
3. Network Behind The Person
Remember that every person you meet has an entire network behind them as well. Even if you don’t have very many synergies, that person may know others in their network that can help you.
This just adds to the fact that you should give even more, because you never know how that person may be able to help you!
4. Come Pre-Qualified
If you’re trying to approach somebody, it’s best to not just reach out cold. Try to discover mutual connections and ask for an introduction. This makes you “pre-qualified”. This takes more work in the beginning, but will help you build deeper trust with that individual.
5. Be A Connector
It’s great to be a networker and know a lot of people, but to really stand out, you need to become a connector. This is an individual who actively introduces people to others in their network.
You can also start to create events & gatherings around introducing people to each other. This builds your credibility with others and they will start reaching out to you! You become the source of information and new connections for others in your network!
6. Be The Host
When you’re at an event, imagine you’re the host of the event. Start introducing people to one another. Welcome individuals. Make others feel at home.
Once again, this is a mindset switch from taking to giving.
7. Be Curious
Don’t make it about yourself. Make it about the other person. Ask questions. Be inquisitive. If you find that someone is “boring”, it’s because you haven’t asked the right question. You can even ask some of the big talk questions to begin connecting with others.
People don’t remember facts. They will remember how you made them feel. So make sure to make them feel important. Ask questions to discover their passions!
8. Have A Business Card
A lot of people these days think they don’t need business cards anymore, but a business card is still a gift and a wonderful touchpoint to exchange information.
When you receive a business card, make sure you look at the business card, comment on it, and then thank them for sharing. It’s like a small gift that says, “Hey, I like you enough to share my personal details.”
When I comment on a business card, I usually read the email address back to them to make sure it’s correct and to show that I care enough to read it.
9. Follow Up
If you make an amazing connection at an event, but never follow up, it will be wasted time.
You need to reach out and also provide value. Send the person an article that interests them. Connect them other people you may know. And make sure to follow up regularly! Of course you can always use The Personal Relationship Manager to help!
10. Be Online
After the face to face interaction has passed, use social media and online tools to stay connected. This gives you access to the entire planet worth of people. It let’s you meet any number of new people in an instant.
Put this into practice!
With the above commandments in place, make sure to practice them! Seek out networking events, find new people to connect with, and always be kind and generous.
To learn more about Jessica Fabrizi you can follow her on twitter @1degree2connect and visit her website onedegreetoconnect.com. She’s an avid networker and has traveled all across the world meeting people and building relationships to genuinely help become better networkers.