This article has automatically been translated by a bot. Here is the original French version.
To be a good networker, there are some basic networking tips and rules to know. Here are the first to start simply and develop easily your network.
Getting to events early
Who arrives early at a networking event makes the best “takes”. The first reason being that you can chat with the organizers of the evening. The second is that you don’t need to make the effort to reach out to people or join a group in the middle of discussion. It is the others who make the effort to come to you. The most daring people (those who come to you) are usually the people most open to discussion and therefore to opportunities.
Business cards, the first weapon in networking
Have business cards! This is one of the most obvious basic rules of networking. Business cards are essential for your networking. The exchange of business cards represents an “unspoken contract” between you and your interlocutor. It is an agreement for a second contact, a continuity of exchange, the construction of a relationship. Don’t forget to pay attention to this moment, to look at the map, to comment on it. This moment is as valuable as a first kiss in a romantic relationship.
During your networking session, you will meet dozens of people. Each of them has its own specificities, each conversation is unique and full of important details. What’s more, your memory will necessarily mix elements between one interlocutor and another. Error!! Take 30 seconds at the end of each conversation to write down important items including actions to follow, raise date or potential set-ups.
Among the basic rules of networking, monitoring is one of the most important elements because it is one of the 3 steps: the pre-meeting, the meeting, the follow-up. The next day or the sur-next, it is important to contact the people you have met, if only to thank them for your exchange. It will also be an opportunity to continue to build the relationship by proposing a second exchange in the continuity of the 1st or to go into more detail on a topic mentioned. You can also take the opportunity to add value to your interlocutor through an article or a link.
Showing yourself in a personal light
We all have extraordinary work and unique skills. But that’s not what makes the difference during a networking session because the know-how can’t be verified in a conversation. That’s why well-being is paramount! Don’t hesitate to talk about something other than your professional life. People are interested in knowing you from different angles. Do you have a wife, a husband, children? An important event to come soon? What are your hobbies? Oh great, your interlocutor is also passionate about tennis! It’s good, Rolland Garros starts in 2 weeks!
The magic of social networks (prospection – follow-up)
Today, getting in touch with a person has become a breeze! A simple search by keywords and hop, you are in contact with the person you want. It’s even better when you’ve met the person physically. You can add it by customizing the invitation and with your photo, you can follow up on your meeting. Mixing physical and virtual networking is the most effective practice for good networking.
Being patient, the network is not built in 1 day
Have you ever seen a 20-year-old brag about having an amazing network without dad’s help, Mom? It doesn’t exist for the simple reason that building a network takes time. You meet people for the first time at an event, you exchange on social networks, you see them at other events, etc. You meet new people with whom you have common knowledge and little by little you weave a web of relationships. Creating a relationship doesn’t happen in 2 days, so creating dozens of relationships, you can imagine that it takes a minimum of time! You do not know who you will meet tomorrow, do not hesitate to make room for serendipity.
Quality vs quantity
Excellence comes when quality and quantity are in balance. Pressing an “Add” button to network is reductive, you have to follow and maintain the relationship. On the other hand, having met 3 people in 3 years and knowing them by heart does not make you a good networker. Meet new people regularly and make it a quality meeting. Consistency and regularity, that’s what makes the difference.
A network feeds
It’s actually pretty simple. Just be in touch regularly and catch up on the news. You have several moments in the year like Christmas, the New Year, the birthday that give you the first reference dates. Then you have the work anniversaries (thanks LinkedIn) and the big deadlines of the life of your contact. At the professional level, you can congratulate the person for carrying out a project, an article or other. On a personal level, you have the wedding anniversary, spouse, children, children’s exams, their leisure competitions, etc. It all depends on the level of your relationship. Just know that every opportunity is good to get news and build relationships.