This article explains the major tips for better networking to enhance productivity at all times.
The importance of networking cannot be over-emphasized. Most times, it is not what you know that matters but who you know.
Therefore, it is advisable that you increase and improve your networks each time you find the opportunity to do so.
This is why many motivational books will write that the kind of people you know matters a lot, the secret of making it easy in life, is by surrounding your circle with people that matter.
Networking opportunities can come in different forms; either formally at a networking event or informally.
When it comes informally, most people are caught unawares and in the end, regretfully realize it was an opening for a dream job or an opening for a contract.
Therefore, I am giving you the following six tips for better networking.
Networking Tips For Beginners
1. Show your value
Experienced professionals always have their antennas open. Nevertheless, they know how to manage their time and when to say no.
When reaching out to someone with more experience and knowledge than you, don’t feel shy to introduce yourself and make them care about your background.
Hello (name). My name is Alex and have I been studying/working on Marketing for NGOs for over a year now. I’m reaching out to you because you have had significant experience in this field and I would like to learn from your expertise.
Also mention where you got their details from.
2. Be specific, brief, and professional
The shorter and more efficient the message, the more likely it is to receive a reply. Be clear on what you are asking for and go for the small «Yes/No» answers.
How is the working culture in your team like? – Long reply that demands time. Try something like: I’m reaching out to learn more about the culture in your team. Would you be available for a call?
And on that aspect, keep the tone of voice casual, but professional. Too many formalities can come across as cold. On the other hand, you are not their friend.
3. Respect the other person’s time
When proposing a call or a meeting, keep in mind that the other person has a pretty busy agenda. At the end of your message, include suggested timeslots, but also show flexibility.
Would you be available for a talk this week? I’m free any time after 3 PM. Please let me know what time works best for you.
4. Offer a way out
Sometimes a prospect connection will not be able to help you. No need to take it personally. That person might just not have time, resources, or be familiar enough with your work to help you.
At the same time, no one wants to be impolite by having to decline an otherwise honest request.
Be flexible with your request. Don’t demand an outcome and offer a way for your contact to say no. It might be discouraging in the beginning, but it shows respect and puts you in a positive light.
5. Check your grammar
Be yourself, don’t try to speak too much grammar, only speak simple English. If you were replied in a native language or pidgin, it will be advisable to flow along, that’s if you want to be taken seriously.
6. Enjoy it!
Remember that the outcome of successful networking is not to find a job. If you burden the relationship with expected outcomes, it will never feel beneficial for both parties.
Propose a lunch or a meet-up only to get to know someone and learn from their experience. Enjoy your time and don’t forget that if they reply to your initial message, they are as open to learning from you as you are open to learning from them!