A Couple of Tips To Make Networking Just a Little Easier
We all know how important it is to spend time networking. A huge swath of jobs are obtained through introductions. People genuinely like to help each other out. If they meet you and they like you and they believe they can help you, generally they will. Oftentimes that help comes as an introduction to another person, so when you connect well with one person, in a way you’re connecting to their whole network.
For some people schmoosing and networking comes as easily as putting a smile on their face and heading out the door. For others getting out that door is as difficult as if they were wearing ankle chains.
Networking can be a lot easier if you have a definite, concrete idea of what you need to say before you enter the room. Plan how you’re going to introduce yourself. The strongest introductions are simple and to the point. Don’t try and squash a life story into a few sentences because people will get confused, lose interest and stop listening. For instance:
“Hi I’m Jane. When I was little I wanted to become a marine biologist because whales are my favourite animal, but then I realized I was kind of afraid of the ocean. If I couldn’t study whales I thought, maybe I could get good at drawing them…”
Having never met Jane, the person she’s talking to will most likely have tuned out before she can gets to her main point. When you’re in a networking situation, skip the back story and get to the point, simply and efficiently.
“Hi, I’m Jane. I specialize in creating residential and corporate underwater murals.”
Create a conversation
Open the door to a conversation. Then once you do start that conversation, instead of looking for things you can get from the person you’re speaking to, make a point of sharing time and space with them.
No one wants to be treated like a means to an end. Even if you don’t particularly like to talk, if you can usually get the other person on a roll if you get them speaking about themselves. Have a few questions ready.
What made you choose law as your career?
What inspires you?
What was your favourite movie of the year?
When you show a genuine interest in people, they usually feel interested in you back. That shared mutual interest is what motivates people to want to help each other.