The Top Twelve Principles of Networking – Part 2

Networking is not something you do when you need to get a job or attract new customers. Networking is a lifestyle discipline that should be started by the time you graduate high school.

Every skill required in networking you likely know and have used in past interactions. Now it is a matter of applying some best practices to what you already know to become an effective networker. We’ve covered Tips One through Six in our previous post; now we tackle Tips Seven through Twelve:

7. Share After They Have Shared. Keep your sharing to 40% or less of the conversation. Be concise, warm, and tell mini-stories. They will ask follow-on questions if they want to know more.

8. Keep it Positive. No one is attracted to negative people, so avoid any conversation that is negative, like complaining, gossiping, or talking about how bad things are. Instead, express a level of positive excitement in all you say.

9. Practice Effective Body Language. Body language communicates your interest. Smile from the eyes as well as the mouth. Listen with the eyes as well as the ears. Stand alertly but not aggressively. Your body language should invite conversation and demonstrate your interest in what is being said.

10. Gather Contact Information. Make sure you get their contact information, which includes phone, email and possibly their social media and/or website information. Invest in some business cards with your contact information to make it easier for others. Record the information in your email or physical address book.

11. Send a Follow-Up. Send them a quick email or text to let them know that you enjoyed meeting them. Mention something that showed you were listening. Invite them to connect with you via LinkedIn and other social networks.

12. Seek Opportunities to Network Meet People. There are opportunities everywhere to meet people. Every town and city has local networking groups (Google “Top Networking Sites” to find events in your area). Every profession has associations. You can meet people in the checkout line. Or in your neighborhood. Where you go to school or work. At social events. At a ballgame. You get the idea – Anywhere! And think…if you made it a point to meet just one new person every day, at the end of a year you’d have over 350 new people in your network!

These networking principles and more are excerpted from our 2014 edition of the Job Search Readiness Assessment and Development Guide.

Boyer Management Group works with job seekers, universities, employers and alike to help them become more successful. For employers and individuals, we offer the world’s finest assessments to measure an individual’s knowledge and awareness of current and emerging best practices in conducting an effective career search, selling, delivering customer service, leadership, and behavioral fit. To find out more, please visit us at info@boyermanagement.com, or call us at 215-942-0982.

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