8 Ways To Network Better
It's not what you know, it's who you know.
No-one in business, especially the start-up world, can afford to ignore the power of networking, as the old saying goes, 'it's not what you know, but who you know.' While there is no denying meeting after meeting can be draining, the power of knowing the right people can give you access to investments, jobs and countless opportunities.
So, with that in mind, we have compiled ten easy ways to make you a better networker.
1. Be Yourself
It sounds simple enough, but the best way to make real, lasting connections is to simply be yourself. Trying too hard or changing to fit with everyone's different ways will get found out, and found out fast. People want to make real connections and be able to trust who they are potentially doing business with.
2. Be Honest
As easy as it is to spot someone who isn't being themselves, it's also just as easy to spot a liar. Overinflating your ability or worth is a dangerous game and will get found out in an instant.
3. The importance of face to face
It is so easy to conduct nearly every aspect of business over email or over the phone, but real, lasting and strong connections come about from actually knowing the person. So how do you do that? Meet them in person, go and have a coffee, chat about personal things and let them know you as a person as well as a business person.
4. Lateness doesn't equal greatness
If you go to the hassle of arranging to meet someone in person, the most important thing to remember is not to be late. It sounds simple enough, but keeping someone waiting will the meeting off to a bad start and could leave a lasting impression.
5. Throw in a freebie
If you want something from someone, then why shouldn't they want something from you. Whether this is some free advice, setting them up with another connection or even some data you can easily get your hands on, you have to expect to give to receive.
6. Follow Up
Again, it sounds simple but a simple follow-up email to thank the person for their time and go over what you discussed will show them that not only are you taking what you discussed seriously, but that you have taken the time to thank them.
7. Be memorable
How many people do you meet on a daily basis that just fade into oblivion? Dozens most probably. If you want to network well, make sure you stand out and stand out well. Listen to what people are saying, ask questions, try and think of ways to make yourself stand out from the crowd.
8. Be Humble
It's very easy to get lost in the glory when times are going well for you, but remember, it's not who is with you when times are good, but when they are bad that counts. Remember to treat people as you would want to be treated and just because you are at the top of your totem pole doesn't mean you are untouchable.