Magazine article New Zealand Management

TEN TOP TIPS : Dona[euro][TM]t Just Network A[euro]" Connect!

Magazine article New Zealand Management

TEN TOP TIPS : Dona[euro][TM]t Just Network A[euro]" Connect!

Article excerpt

Byline: Sarah Lochead-MacMillan

Networking. We talk about it; we read about it; we all know what it is. We like the articles, but do they really tell us the a[euro]how toa[euro] of networking?

Leta[euro]s start by changing the term, it is not a[euro]networkinga[euro] it is a[euro]connectinga[euro]. Not everyone is born to be a great connector, but everyone can learn and everyone should.

Networking is less about direct selling and more about adding value and creating sustainable relationships.

How do we do this? Well, here in brief are my 10 top tips.

1. Add value Have a clear reason for why you are networking, know your objectives. Yes, at the end we all want to do business, but you need to give someone a reason to do business with you and your network. How? You add value to them first. You show credibility. How? You do something that will help them or their clients or their business before you even think of explaining how they can help you.

2. Know your hook and elevator pitch This is not a sales pitch. These are the words that get someone interested in talking to you. It is how you verbally showcase your passion (business) without the hard sell and showcase your credibility. Think about what you currently say when someone asks a[euro]What do you do?a[euro]. If you begin by saying, a[euro]Ia[euro]m just aa[euro] or you describe your job, you need some training in this area. You need to describe what you do, what your business does for clients, the results and outcomes they experience; rather than who you are and your business process.

3. First impressions count Sounds really dumb but dress and act appropriately. If you feel uncomfortable you will act uncomfortably.

4. Take business cards How else will people know how to contact you or find you? Do not force your card on anyone, but if everyone is at an event or having coffee to a[euro]connecta[euro] then the swapping of the business cards is ritual and accepted.

5. Be able to make small talk Not everyone can launch into the connecting habit. You need to establish a conversation; you need to have something to talk about a[euro]" even if you scan the daya[euro]s news. The best connectors are the ones who ask questions, who genuinely want to help people, who want more information on how to help others.

6. Remember to add value I hear lots of people say a[euro]I stopped networkinga[euro], or a[euro]I left that network because I didna[euro]t get anything out of ita[euro]. …

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