Networking is not only about getting in touch with as many people as you can; it is about creating the right connections and establishing valuable and enduring relationships with the others, relationship that will grow stronger over time. Here you can find five very simple yet effective tips on how to make the most of the networking opportunities you have.
Value your time
First-time entrepreneurs will definitely have hard time to connect with the people they should be connecting with. Due to lack of experience, often they waste valuable time for getting connected with certain people without having the clear reason for it. Spend your time wisely. Get connected and establish your connections with the right purpose and intention and you will be one step closer to achieving what you want.
Meet with the right people
As an entrepreneur, you have so many things to take care of and all of the important tasks in your startup depend mostly on your work. If you neglect your work for the sake of endless coffee meetings with other people, you may simply slow the growth of your company. Rely on quality, not on quantity and schedule meetings only with the people, whom you most definitely want to get connected with.
Don’t accept no from a person who can’t say yes!
Getting in touch with important people is not a piece of cake. It often requires a lot of attempts before you succeed in getting a meeting. You will be ignored, rejected and often you will want to simply move on. Many of the people, whom you will want (and need) to meet, are very busy people and their assistants are the ones who organize their schedules and meeting plans. Never accept no for an answer from a person who can’t say yes to your request and try to reach to the person you want in a different way – at a networking event or through common friends or business contacts, for example.
To make a meeting work for you, you better do your homework before you meet with the person. Know who you are talking to and what they would like to hear first, in order to get their attention. Keep it simple and straight to the point. Everyone is busy and once you make it clear that you value not only their time, but yours as well, it will show them that you are very serious about what you do. Before a meeting, always, always, always do your homework.
After every meeting, try to remind of yourself and the topic of your conversation. Every time after a networking event or a personal meeting spend some time to follow up with an e-mail or a phone call in order to remind the people you’ve met of your meeting. Always, always follow up!