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Author: Tom HiltonThe personal interaction is really more powerful than any type of the radio, print or the television advertising you can do. Most of the time, it happens because the networking makes us step outside of our comfort zone and we do not really understand the networking concept completely many a times.
Some of the biggest mistakes we make when joining networking groups are:
• We join a group but we do not go. Then we wonder why the groups don’t help us? Networking does not just happen by just adding our name to a particular list. People need to actually meet at regular intervals and build a healthy relationship with the members before they will do business or refer anything.
• We appear at the various events, but we do not interact with anyone while we are there. Networking involves the overall interaction with others in the particular group! No one can actually build a relationship without the proper interaction… talking is what networking is all about. We actually need to watch the television or read the newspaper before we go to the events so that we are up to date on the latest events. This helps break the ice!
• We skip the networking portion of the meeting, arriving just in time for the meal, and duck out just as the speaker is finishing up. Food is really great; however, that is not the purpose of the networking events for sure. Food is the least important… we can swing through the drive through on the way back to work if we need to. We need to set a particular goal for the numerous quality contacts before we actually attend a networking event. Afterwards we will be able to see if we achieved our goal. Having a goal gives us the extra incentive to step outside of our comfort zone.
• We talk and sit with the people we already know. It is always nice to catch up with the old friends; however, there is a time for socializing and also a time for the networking. Schedule a lunch for particularly socializing with a close friend, but do not use the valuable networking time in order to catch up on each other’s families. Again, setting a particular goal helps us move about and network with the new people!
• We make no great effort to be really visible; instead, we try to blend into the crowd many a times. If we do not stand out, others will also never notice us. One of the most creative ways to do this is to wear a favourite hat or an outfit that actually helps us stand out. We need to find a creative way to help the people remember us for long even when we are out of their sight. One example is a businesswoman who always wears colorful and really exotic hats. People may not remember her name, but when she does her follow-up calls and makes a comment about her hat… they always remember the hat! How can we be creative?
The business network is really crucial and can be achieved by following the above discussed steps.
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