As an entrepreneur, one of the things that is vital to your success is effective networking. The ability to seek out the correct networking opportunities and connect is not as easy as some people might assume. For starters, not everyone is a natural socialite; therefore, for those folks who are introverted networking can actually be an excruciating undertaking. In fact, one can even argue that effective networking is a skill that is developed over time.
The holiday season presents additional opportunities for networking due to the abundance of holiday and end of year celebrations. It is also a common practice at this time of year, for exclusive groups to open their events to visitors as part of their recruitment process for the upcoming year. For those of us who are a bit on the shy side, holiday networking presents a less stressful opportunity to make new connections and practice our networking techniques.
They key is to always remember that whether you are in a more social setting or not, the goal of networking is to build solid relationships, because at the end of the day-people do business (especially repeat business) with people that they like!
Here are some easy, simple tips to connect with other businesses/customers and be a success:
1. Be natural: Have you ever come across a person that was clearly putting on a show or presenting an image that was not authentic to who they are? Surely, you were turned off from that person--correct? Trust that who you are and the business that you present is worthy enough for people to interested.
2. Be personable: Too often, as business people, we are so focused on presenting our skills and qualifications. However, it is very important not to forget that the core of networking is building relationships. This means sharing information and forming intimate bonds with others that will build trust over time.
3. Be open to possibilities: It’s often said that you never know who you will come across and whether they will be able to help you. Many times we assume that only specific people in a specific field can help us. This is absolutely the wrong attitude to have! It’s important to recognize that everyone can be relevant and can be of service to you in ways that you have never imagined. There are many cases of successful people receiving help from those who they never conceived would be able to push them to the next level.
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