It isn’t what you know, it’s who you know. Many have heard this old saying, and it’s true that your contacts are extremely valuable. As such, the ability to network well is a necessary skill for all aspiring business professionals. We at White House Marketing contend that it involves a lot more than simply exchanging business cards. Here are some useful techniques:
• Get Involved: You can’t expand your network just by sitting in your office. You’ll need to engage with others, and be open to sharing experiences with them and learning from them. Present yourself to others and show them your vision. Help them understand you.
• Listen Actively: Effective listening is an essential skill. In doing so, you learn what you have in common with others, and what inspires and motivates them. With this information, you can devise ways to add value to their lives. Make sure you remember what’s important to them – they’ll be impressed by your interest.
• Follow Up: This is a standard networking practice, but it’s important enough to be worthy of emphasis. All relationships must be nurtured on an ongoing basis – and professional connections are no different. The stronger they get, the better your position will be to ask for assistance when you need it (of course, always express your appreciation when you get it.)
Our team members at White House Marketing understand that networking isn’t easy. In fact, it can be downright nerve-wracking sometimes. We urge you to work through any trepidation you may feel and utilize the tips highlighted here.