Business networking here in Central and Southern New Jersey is very important if you are seeking new career opportunities, building a micro or small business, or looking for strategic partners to grow your current business. As important as it is to network for opportunity, it is not easy to do it well and do it consistently. Everyone networks for visibility. Although there are a number of local networking events across our part of the state, it takes some planning to make the most of the contacts you meet.
Many professionals in the area come from years in the corporate environment and are just starting to network at Chamber events and other venues.
Dale Carnegie Training offers 10 proven networking strategies:
- Be you: It is simple and smart. Being genuine is a great first impression.
- Show poise: Although meeting new people at a networking event can be a little stressful for some individuals, professional confidence can go a long way at being remembered.
- Be positive: Every you say must be positive. People avoid and walk away from negativity.
- Be eloquent: Know your business. Present knowledge and understanding with your current business focus, blend in current affairs, and create good discussion.
- Know when to stop talking: Discretion is very important. Nobody needs to hear a life story.
- Dress for the occasion: Although wearing a tux or gown might be a bit over the top at an after hours’ event, it is critical that you do not look like you just finished cleaning the garage.
- Asking for guidance: Build a relationship over time first and earn the right to ask for advice.
- Always say thank you and follow up: If someone makes a great impression or you want to continue a professional relationship, drop an e-mail or send a handwritten card in a short note of thanks. Just remember that not every single person you meet will need or want a thank you.
- Document all networking activity: Putting a few notes together about people, ideas and discussions are great reminders. Make sure you put a date with any information you write down.
- E-Strategy: It is perfectly okay to check and see if the individual you met is on Twitter, Linked-In, and Business Facebook. Connect if possible.
Remember to be yourself. Being consistent is an important goal in networking. Business is truly built on relationships. Follow every opportunity and grow in professional success.
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