Even for the biggest extroverts, entering a networking event feels like diving into a sea of strangers. Social networking is an art and gives you the opportunity for meeting people for expanding your social group. For an individual’s success it is important to have connections as the more friends a person has, the more fulfilled and successful they are likely to be.
But the process of networking is not understood well by most of the people. They consider just introducing themselves and handing over their business cards to other people is what is required for networking. They understand too late in life that true networking is based on the following approaches:
1. Make valuable connection:
Having hundreds of connections whom you have not spoken to in years are not of any value at all. But if you have someone in your life you can turn towards when you need an advice, referrals, or insights, than they are the most valuable connections. So make valuable relationships and not just keep on adding the number of connections.
2. Relationships develop on what you deliver:
Honesty strengthens any relationship and in business, only words cannot help you to make a place for yourself. People trust you on what you deliver and not just the promises you make. When you actively and consistently work to deliver your promises, trust is inherently solidified.
3. Requires nurturing:
Business relationships need nurturing like plants and you cannot expect to reach out for a favor after forgetting them they even exist. You need to check-in with people from time to time, ask then how they are doing and show an interest in their goals and ambitions. Business relationships are like a mutual exchange and nobody wants to know they are being taken advantage of so find out where you can help and offer your services.
4. Show that you care:
In business, when you offer your help then it goes a long way. You need to do things in a way that people remember you for your work. Always give more then you take. Offer your help twice as often. It happens most of the time that people do not take the help but remember the person who offers to help. But if they do agree to take your help, provide them the help as best as you can. They will remember your favours in the long run.
5. Do not make it about self-interest:
Most of the people in business prefer talking about the money they will make through a project. In this way, they send a message to others that they care only about their own interest instead of delivering some value to the project. On the other hand, true developers and networkers prove their worth by taking steps that are meaningful.
6. Show your positive energy:
People get attracted to those people who have positive energy. It shows how humble, grounded you are and are willing to learn and to connect to other people. When you are welcoming to other people in your circle then you will be helped out by others whenever you are in need.
7. It is a long process:
Turning connections into mutually beneficial relationships is a long process. Some of the opportunities may take years to develop properly so it requires patience. Business world requires understanding in order to strengthen relationships.
The article originally appeared on INC