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Networking for novices

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For the corporate executive and business owner who wants the key essentials of purposeful networking. Mervin presents 8 networking tips to get you started on a powerful marketing tool.

Published in: Business, Technology

Networking for novices

  1. 1. O p p o r t u n i t y b e y o n d h a n d s h a k e NETWORKING for NOVICES
  2. 2. O p p o r t u n i t y b e y o n d h a n d s h a k e Networking is a Necessity "More business decisions occur over lunch and dinner than at any other time, yet no MBA courses are given on the subject.“ Peter Drucker “If you want to go somewhere, it is best to find someone who has already been there.” Robert Kiyosaki “It isn’t just what you know, and it isn’t just who you know. It’s actually who you know, who knows you, and what you do for a living.” Bob Burg These giants of the business world agree on one thing – networking is not a luxury but a necessity.
  3. 3. O p p o r t u n i t y b e y o n d h a n d s h a k e Successful people are hardwired to network with the movers and shakers within their niche areas; they are always on the lookout for opportunities to connect, consult and collaborate. Look Out for Opportunities 8 NETWORKING TIPS…
  4. 4. O p p o r t u n i t y b e y o n d h a n d s h a k e 1. Be Purposeful For every event that you attend, define your purpose clearly. - What are your immediate needs? - Who can you help? - Are you looking to expand your network of contacts? - Is there someone whom you intend to recommend?
  5. 5. O p p o r t u n i t y b e y o n d h a n d s h a k e 2. Keep an Open Mind The world is more connected than most people think. If you’re a marketer of luxury products, do not limit your networking contacts to the socialites and millionaires. By referring plumbers and dry cleaners to your contacts and generally being helpful, your highflying clients will have more contact with you and form a better impression of you.
  6. 6. O p p o r t u n i t y b e y o n d h a n d s h a k e 3. Look the Part You can make a great impression on whomever you meet by looking the part. It pays to be well-groomed and conservatively dressed. Choose simple, understated accessories to complete your look. I recommend picking out every item of your attire a day or two before.
  7. 7. O p p o r t u n i t y b e y o n d h a n d s h a k e 4. Name Cards Networking opportunities are everywhere, so be prepared. Place your name cards in a handy card holder instead of rummaging through your bag for them. The name card is an extension of the person who presents it. When presented with a card, accept it respectfully with both hands and study it thoughtfully. Use this opportunity to ask questions pertaining to the prospect’s job. Make notes on the back of the cards to anchor your memory of the person you just met.
  8. 8. O p p o r t u n i t y b e y o n d h a n d s h a k e 5. Meaningful Conversations The trick to getting the conversation going is to be interested in the other person. Good conversationalists do not talk very much; they get others to talk about everybody’s favorite subject— themselves. Spend enough time with each person such that you are able to establish a trusting bond. Be open-minded, genuine and helpful. Try to see how you can add value to the people you connect with.
  9. 9. O p p o r t u n i t y b e y o n d h a n d s h a k e 6. Self-Introduce with Panache “What do you do?” Generally, this is an invitation to introduce your profession in 15 to 30 seconds. Some business books term it “the elevator pitch”. Briefly mention what you do, who you help and the key benefits of your product or service. It is useful to practice this before a networking event and fine-tune it afterwards based on the feedback you received.
  10. 10. O p p o r t u n i t y b e y o n d h a n d s h a k e 7. Exit With Grace Networking differs from making friends in that you have to circulate - Susan RoAnne terms it “Working The Room”. This can be executed politely and smoothly. Some lines I like to use: “It’s been nice talking to you.” “If you’ll excuse me, there’s someone I’d like to say Hi to”. “Shall we catch up over coffee soon?” “Is this your email? I will drop you a note.”
  11. 11. O p p o r t u n i t y b e y o n d h a n d s h a k e 8. Follow Up is Essential Amateurs think that the networking process ends when the last name card has been exchanged. Far from it! Make it a point to schedule an hour the morning after the networking event to follow up with all my contacts. Email is easy. Where appropriate, initiate further contact, such as scheduling a second meeting over coffee or lunch. It reflects professionalism and sincerity. This is how meaningful relationships are formed and strengthened over time.
  12. 12. O p p o r t u n i t y b e y o n d h a n d s h a k e Conclusion Networking is a marketing activity that emphasises long-term, mutually-beneficial relationships. In business, as in life, it is imperative to follow the golden rule – do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Being positive and helpful will earn you much mileage in terms of people power.
  13. 13. O p p o r t u n i t y b e y o n d h a n d s h a k e Networking Evangelist, Speaker, Author Mervin Yeo, a contributing author in New York Times best-seller Masters of Networking, provides training, consulting, coaching and facilitation to business professionals and organisations Singapore and the region on purposeful networking and strategic referral marketing. He lives and breathes, speaks and teaches the language of referrals and is author of “Purposeful Networking For Introverts” and co-author of “Turning Ideas Into Profit”. Website: http://mervinyeo.com

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