Networking is an essential skill in growing your business. It starts with building a relationship based on an honest connection. To be an asset versus a one time conversation, start giving before you get. Figure out how to collaborate with the other person before thinking about what’s it in for you. Determine what value you can add and dish it out freely. Maybe your help is in the form of good advice, or in the form of simple, honest appreciation. Are you a relationship connector? Facilitate that connection for someone else. Access to a key resource is priceless. Embrace the premise that you will help them move forward. Then deliver on your promise to connect. Your success correlates to your network. Connected people understand the power of relationships to engage and enlarge their network.
Pay attention to networking etiquette when you meet someone.
Respect the fledgling relationship and initiate a follow up within 24 hours. An email acknowledgement or a LinkedIn invitation is a good start. Determine the communication style of your new contact. It is up to you to ask their preference for email, phone or in person follow up. If you cannot help someone, let them know of your constraints and offer to connect them with someone who can help. It’s bad karma to ignore a request for networking. It’s also rude. Help people get where they need to go. When you do something for someone else, you are practicing good karma. That’s an essential skill to cultivate!