5 Tips for Networking Effectively in Today’s Competitive World

5 Tips for Networking Effectively in Today’s Competitive WorldNetworking effectively is not only important to your business success, it's also fun and exciting if approached with the right attitude.

Taking the time to network effectively is the first step in building relationships that lead to new prospects, contacts and sales.  In today's wired world making personal contact, following up and building trust and rapport is the key to standing out and moving ahead of your competition.

Here are 5 tips that you can use to network more effectively in today' competitive business environment:

  • Be friendly and approachable. People do business with people they know, like and trust” So when you have the opportunity to connect, be likable. Try being yourself.
  • Become part of the people you meet's support team. Networking should not be a one-sided coin – You need to be a resource to others take the time to ask open-ended questions that focus on learning how you can help support them in their business and personal life. If you focus your networking on learning how you can help others rather than what you get out of it, you will make lasting connections. To paraphrase Zig Zigglar: You can have everything in life that you want if you help enough people get what they want.
  • Nurture your relationships. Make it a point to follow up with a brief email, or even better send a personal note or card. Reach out to your contacts on a regular basis by recognizing and appreciating their achievements and important life events. How do you feel when a friend sends you a card recognizing your promotion, or send you a note just to say that they are glad they met you.

Always send a thank you card after you've met with someone. Whether it was a sales presentation or just a coffee meeting. If you do much networking on sites like Facebook or LinkedIn. Get your friends mailing address and birthday.

TIP: When you make a connection online, open the lines of communication via a chat or private message. If you have real connection, move it to the phone, or meet for coffee.

  • Networking and building relationships can be productive or non-productive, the choice is yours. If you come across as being insincere or pushy, you'll find that while you may connect with lot's of people, these connections will have no value. It is not about how many relationships you have instead it is the quality of the relationship that matters.
  • Above all don't focus on the rejections.  Don't take it personal if your contacts don't respond. If you follow up or try to connect and don't get a response, maybe the person is not interested or extremely busy. Being persistent is okay to a point, but if you don't make a positive connection just move on.

Start today to use these simple business networking tips and watch your contacts, referrals and sales grow. If you have any suggestion for better networking please keep the conversation going and  share them in the comment box.

Bob Gallo