Networking is an essential skill to build professional relationships, but few of us are naturals. There are many compelling reasons to network like expanding your client base, develop business partnerships, or finding a better job.
For some people, networking can be overwhelming, but have no fear! Endiem has rounded up five of the best ways to increase your networking skills immediately.
Smiling at people draws you in with positive energy, attitude, and self-confidence. A recent study showed that people who smile are more likable, courteous, and competent. Use the power of your smile and put people at ease to open up an opportunity for a conversation.
2. Set goals
It’s easy to put off going to a networking event. To help this, set a weekly or monthly goal for networking events you attend. Hold yourself accountable, and you’ll be a networking pro in no time.
3. Ask good open-ended questions
Have a few ice-breaker questions ready to ask before the event. Asking questions that facilitate a conversation is the best way to get to know someone. It’s an easy and natural way to keep the conversation going.
One of our favorites is “Tell me one thing about yourself that someone can’t tell just by looking at you.”
4. Make it about the other person
As Dale Carnegie says, “Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.” Engaging others by discussing their likes and interests will put the other person at ease. Listen intently to what the other person has to say and take the time to understand. This will create a deeper connection, make the other person feel important and move the relationship forward.
5. Don’t expect anything
Ok, so this isn’t exactly a skill, but it’s very important. When you go to networking events always looking to gain something, then you’re not really networking at all. Networking is a give-and-take process that involves making connections, sharing information, and asking questions. Take the pressure off and go into networking events with the intent to build new connections.
Ready to put your new networking skills to work? Head to the Salesforce.com Houston User Group Annual Ice Cream Social on July 23 and test out what you’ve learned. Register here.