Networking is often the key to finding jobs, recruiting talent or finding customers and investors. Therefore, we have gathered some key elements that will help you network like a boss.
Networking is scary. Approaching someone is terrifying. The thought of getting rejected is something even the toughest of us tremble before. But, I am going to give you the most banal, but effective, advice. Just go for it. Approach the person head-on, unafraid. The worst that can happen is an awkward silence. We have all been there, but rejection is not the end of the world. I also just want to remind everyone out there that it takes two to keep the conversation interesting so you can console your broken confidence with that fact. This is what I usually tell myself to make myself feel better after dying of embarrassment and shame.
Someone’s time is not more valuable than yours
When going for it, it can be intimidating to talk to someone that has a lot of power. This might decrease your confidence. This is when it is important to always remember; someone’s time is not more valuable than yours. There is no such thing. Only nice people and jerks. Just a little reminder to boost your confidence.
Small talk is make or break
Whether you like this or not, small talk is something that can make or break a deal. It determines whether or not you have chemistry with someone. So my general tip is, learn how to small talk well, ASAP! Talk about the weather, food, how bad the public transportation is. Whatever to get the conversation flowing.
Get to know the person
This is a part of small talk that is useful to be aware of. Yet again, it is all about first impression and you don’t want to seem self absorbed. Show an interest in the person you are talking to. Say their name, ask about their hobbies etc. People love talking about themselves and it will make them softer and more open towards you.
Learn how to smoothly transition
When you have finished the small talk part of the conversation you can transition into your business and what you want from this person. But, be careful! This has to go smoothly or the person will draw back from you. In some situations talking about your business and such is expected from the get go, but in more casual settings this smooth transition is the key. How to smoothly transition varies, but a good one is mentioning your business in a bypass. Braid it into your conversation so smoothly that the person doesn’t even notice that you have changed subject.
Charm is an artform, but can be taught. Being charismatic is not something we all are born with unfortunately. But a few tips you can take use of is smile, engage in the conversation and using clever ice breakers. A clever one is “I think Trump’s tweets are a tragicomic phenomenon too”.
Use your network for what it is worth
Lastly, when you have started to build up your network you will have several opportunities to get to know people that they know. Use this to your advantage to get even more contacts.
Now that I’ve given the general gist around networking, hopefully you have something to take with you. Get out there and good luck!
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