Best practices for networking like a pro and connecting with top people in the industry?
Understand your space and who you are trying to meet. When attending networking events, go with a goal in mind. For example, "I'd like to leave with at least 10 business cards". In addition, every connection is a good one. While perhaps you haven't met the industry expert you wanted to meet, you never know where someone will be in five years.
Keep it natural, authentic, and realistic. I've seen too many new networkers over sell themselves, rehearse the same point, and not be fully honest with their capabilities. When you're networking in a social setting keep it relevant, be yourself, and be honest about your work.
Play golf, join different sports like horse riding etc
Great question. There are many ways to physically network and you can ‘Google’ them easily; however, I think the networking process begins before you go to the event vs beginning when you arrive. There are a few things I share in my Building Relationships Through Networking session that I’d like to offer up.
1. Be very clear about the type of network you want to build: Personal, Organizational or Strategic. Each are beneficial, yielding different results.
2. I recommend the Strategic network because it is more comprehensive.
3. Choose a current problem you are trying to solve or an opportunity you are trying to leverage.
4. Answer these questions:
a. How is your current network helping you to solve this?
b. Where are the gaps?
5. Now, when you network you have clarity around what you are trying to accomplish and with whom (role) you would like to connect.
6. Finally, keep in mind that networking is about giving as well…be a connector of connections! As you are discovering people’s stories and building relationships, keep an ear out for who may be able to serve or be served by others.
7. If you have clarifying questions or would like a deeper dive, just let me know…best of luck on your networking journey!