Networking is an important thing that can enhance a career . We know that networking is an opportunity to meet and share experiences with others who are more experienced. Networking can also be an annoying and boring opportunity if we don’t prepare well. We may wonder how to make a good impression and feel comfortable to be among people who are not yet known. We might also wonder what to say and how we should say it.
Yes, that’s the twists found when trying to network, especially if we are beginners. Of course, networking is not an easy thing for beginners. There are feelings of shame, fear, shyness and panic that are jumbled together, but fellow readers don’t need to worry. In this article, we will discuss 5 tips for successful networking for beginners so that we can make a good impression and benefit from the event being attended.
1. Don’t immediately expect results.
When attending an event, we must have the right mindset. Many people don’t like networking because they think that networking is just a play with the aim of getting a new business or job opportunity. In reality, networking is not a play, but a game that requires long term. Make sure that you do not expect instant results after attending an event. Maybe, when networking we get job offers or business opportunities, that’s a natural thing. It’s just that we won’t be able to immediately get it after the event.
Networking is about building long-term relationships , maybe five or ten years into the future. So, change the mindset we have. Instead of having to think about instant results, it’s good to think that networking will bring together interesting people and get lots of lessons from them and even make new friends.
2. Bring lots of business cards.
Business cards are equipment that must be taken when attending an event. Nowadays, maybe many people almost forget this conventional thing. Yes, technological advances make us prefer to be connected via Linkedin, Whatsapp, email and even certain applications. Believe me, this conventional method is beneficial. Exchanging business cards is a very normal thing to do in a networking event. It will feel strange if someone else gives a business card and asks for our business card, but they don’t get it because the business card is left at home. So, don’t forget to bring a business card, yes fellow reader.
3. Finding common ground.
Tips for success attending the next networking event is finding common ground. After talking about work, we might feel confused to choose the next topic. Well, try to find a conversation that might have an element of similarity in it, for example after knowing that the person works at company A, ask if he recognizes our friend who also works there. That way, the conversation will still flow. In addition, it never hurts to discuss about alma mater, sports and other information. Maybe we are from the same college, have the same hobbies, live close together or even the interlocutors are neighbors of our cousins.
Networking is about building relationships. However light the matter is discussed, it is not a problem. Most importantly, we can direct the conversation to topics that are of interest to both parties and will be a great opportunity for the continuation of the relationship in the future, for example, say that we and the interlocutors both like the sport of football. This allows us to do sports together or even watch football games together. Isn’t this a good thing that is profitable? That way, we can still establish good relations and have the possibility to cooperate in business in the future.
4. Get other people’s data.
Next, tips on networking success for beginners is to get other people’s information. That is why, we must carry business cards in every networking event that is attended. It never hurts to make a reminder so we do not leave the business card. After getting someone else’s business card, we can store telephone numbers, email addresses and other information in the database because business cards are easily lost and scattered. The database also makes it easy for us to find someone’s information whenever needed. Write complete information so that it will be easier for us later.
Let’s say we will connect with XYZ company on a project. We need some important information about the company. We might remember that we met someone from the XYZ company, but can’t remember the name clearly. Well, this is where we can check the database that is owned.
5. Follow up at the right time.
Other people will not really remember us, unless we do something unforgettable, such as spilling drinks on his shirt. That is why it needs a follow up a few days after the event ends.
We can send messages via email or even contact them via Linkedin. Let the person know that we have met in an event. If we promise that we will contact him, this is a good opportunity to start a conversation. That way, they will remember us more.
This simple effort is the first step to building relationships in the long run. Make sure that we stay connected and have regular chats to build good relationships in the long run.