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7 Best Practices for Networking That Actually Work

Ask for an introduction

Everybody knows someone. If you want to meet someone in particular, ask the people you know if they know anyone who knows the person--and then ask them to make an introduction.

At the end of the day, a warm lead is always better than a cold lead. If you can get in the door with some sort of referral, that will always be better than a cold email or phone call.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

7 Best Practices for Networking That Actually Work

7 Best Practices for Networking That Actually Work

https://www.inc.com/nicolas-cole/7-networking-hacks-you-need-to-start-using-immediately-and-actually-work.html

inc.com

6

Key Ideas

Make friends, not contacts

Friends do business with friends.

By no means is this a suggestion to go be one of those social climbers who pretends to make friends in the name of getting to the top. It's more about having genuine connections, with openly stated goals, aspirations and struggles. 

Listening

One of the best networking hacks in the world.

People with knowledge tend to hold back what they know under the presumption that you aren't really interested in what they have to say. But if you listen and show not only your interest but your appreciation, they will share. They will share everything they know, and then some. So not only is this a learning opportunity for you, but it becomes one of the fastest ways to make friends and build an incredible network.

Ask for an introduction

Everybody knows someone. If you want to meet someone in particular, ask the people you know if they know anyone who knows the person--and then ask them to make an introduction.

At the end of the day, a warm lead is always better than a cold lead. If you can get in the door with some sort of referral, that will always be better than a cold email or phone call.

Give, then ask

Whenever you help someone reach a goal, make a connection, overcome an obstacle, etc., you are doing so many important things for that relationship: You are establishing a friendship, you are showing your willingness to invest in him or her first, you are showing your value, and you are building trust.

Keep your word

Your word is everything. Nobody makes referrals to someone who is "kind of reliable." Nobody makes introductions to someone who is "sometimes there."

If you are not able to do this, then all your other networking efforts amount to very little. For every lead in, two leads fall out.

Introduce yourself

While a referral or an introduction can be great, at the end of the day it's all about you grabbing life by the horns and saying, "This is who I am and this is what I do."

At the gym. At the pool. At the club. At whatever event. 

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Keeping in loose touch

You pop up now and again to your connections and acquaintances (old and new), without any obligation to follow up or see each other in person.

  • It helps you to connect even with your weak or dormant ties, that will, in turn, be able to help you if you with what opportunities they have. 
  • You can connect via text or email, and you can take the time to compose thoughtful messages without being put on-the-spot.
The effect of loose touch

... is to put you into someone’s consciousness for a few minutes, and vice versa.

In cultivating loose-touch connections, know that your network won’t appear all at once; it takes steady, continuous work.

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Email updates

Building a strong network is one thing, and keeping it strong is another.

But it’s not that difficult to maintain your relationships:  sending a few email updates per year ...

LinkedIn updates

Share updates pretty regularly in order to tell connections what’s on your mind, whether it’s your point of view on some industry news story, or just congratulating a colleague on a business win.

And by putting yourself out there, you’re taking regular small steps that could someday turn into an opportunity to take a bigger one.

Tell people to text you

It allows individuals to get straight to the point, and since many people use texting as a daily form of communication, you’re more likely to get a response.

The trick is to make sure you apply standard business etiquette, such as respecting business hours.

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Purpose of Career Networking

It involves using personal, professional, academic or familial contacts to assist with a job search, achieve career goals, or learn more about your field, or another field you'd like to work in....

Top 7 Networking Tips
  1. Include the right people: anyone who can assist you with a career move
  2. Know what your career network can do for you
  3. Keep in touch - work your network: People are more willing to help when they know who you are
  4. Give to get - what can you do for your career network
  5. Keep track of your network

    make sure you know who is who, where they work, and how to get in touch.

  6. Network online
  7. Attend networking events.
The 2 most important networking skills

 ...you can develop are listening and asking questions

These 2 skills will impress your clients even more than your best business statistics.

How to Be a Good Listener

Good listening is active, not passive:

  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Do not fidget, shift your body weight often, and never look at your watch! 
  • Nod your head to show agreement but do not interrupt to make your point or share your own experiences.
  • Respond by repeating at least one key point the person you are talking with just made in the form of a question. 
How to Ask the Right Questions

Keep questions positive and focused.

Ask a question that is on-topic whenever possible. If the topic is negative, do not just suddenly change topics. It will make the speaker uncomfortable. Instead, give an empathetic reply to show support and then ask a question to redirect to something that is still related, but allows the speaker to respond with something a little more positive.

Top Characteristics of a Great Networker
Top Characteristics of a Great Networker
  1. Good listener.
  2. Positive attitude: it makes people want to cooperate and associate with you.
  3. Collaborative to serve others. 
  4. Sincere
Socially acceptable internet stalking

If you are going to a club or a meeting, it helps to check online and on the event's page about the people that are going and touch base with a few of them.

When you arrive at the event venue...

Put the effort to connect
It pays off eventually. Efforts to connect may not pay off right there and then,  or even in a fair way, but they do pay off.

Even if this effort pays off half the time, it is worth it.

Find the result ratio and improve it

If you reach out to 50 people on email and only one real connection happens in your networking, it is worth the effort, and the learning.

You can fine-tune your ways to get better results as you progress.

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Mistakes in predicting our future feelings
Mistakes in predicting our future feelings

We are not very good at guessing how we'll feel in the future. In predicting how we will feel in the future, we commonly use the past experience as a guide.

But our br...

Overestimating our future emotions

We overestimate the strength of our emotions in the future.

Studies show that people overestimated their happiness at winning and their disappointment at losing because they forgot all the other things that would happen in a day that would influence their mood.

Feelings are not long-lasting

A lottery winner, for instance, won't spend every day celebrating their win. Nor will someone with a disabling accident spend all their time in shock.

When imagining either situation, we like to think that the feelings will be long-lasting. We forget that we will adapt and that the feeling will eventually wear off.

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