Networking isn’t easy. If you’re naturally an introvert it can be extra difficult. That said I can’t stress how important it is to get out and network. People that are well networked have access to connections beyond our wildest imagination. Whether it’s an exclusive event or simply advice you never know when you’re going to need it.
Here are 4 networking strategies that you can use to help build stronger relationships:
Invest in Relationships
The best and simplest networking strategy you can use is simply making the investment. Whether you invest your time, energy, money, or all three it’s important to take the effort.
The majority of individuals constantly look to gain things from relationships. Truth is, those with the most powerful networks focus their energy on giving rather than taking. If you’re constantly asking for favors from your connections it’ll begin to hurt your relationship.
A good rule of thumb is to make an offering twice as much as you make an ask. This way you will build stronger relationships with people who feel inclined to help you out.
Be a Problem Solver
If you can solve problems for people they’ll remember you forever. Always try to uncover pain points. Whether it’s in their business or even in their personal life you should find a way to help.
This can also be a bit tricky at times since you don’t want to overstep your boundaries. Often times people aren’t too quick to share their issues. Whether they’re embarrassed or not it’s not easy to get it out. That said it’s important not to force it. Try your best to ask questions and listen when you have conversations. More often than not they will come out naturally.
Don’t Underestimate Anyone
If you’ve ever attended a conference you’ll notice that nearly everyone looks at your badge before your face. It shows that they are interested in which company you work for and more importantly your title.
Think about how many times the CEOs and executives are approached at these events. If you’re able to get a few words in great. If you’re able to get an email or call back that’s awesome. However most of the time you won’t get either. As you go about networking it’s very important to never underestimate the power of a connection. Meet with people from all different walks of life in all levels of the corporate hierarchy. You’d be surprised how much value these people can add to your business.
Like anything in life, practice makes perfect. The same goes for networking. If you want to practice this you simply need to connect with others as often as possible. When I say connect daily I don’t mean everyday with all of your contacts. I’m simply suggesting you make it a habit to connect to at least one person in your network daily.
This should be someone you weren’t required to reach out to for anything work related. Ask about their day, family, or shoot them over a cool article you read in the news. Every little bit counts and this helps build strong personal relationships as well.
Your network is your net worth. The more connections you have on your rolodex the more opportunities you will have in life and in business. It’s that simple. With that said you should test out some of the networking strategies above to go make some connections!