What’s your networking like?
Have a purpose for your networking meeting. Don’t go to a networking meeting unprepared.
Research the company and field your networking contacts are involved in.
1. Prepare a list of questions, and practice asking them. If you don’t prepare, you’ll end up having a conversation that results in no new information.
2. Listen and don’t all the talking. Networking is all about ‘give and take’. It’s about sharing information, and both parties can benefit. In order to effectively share and gather information, you have to spend part of the time listening. You want to develop rapport, and you can’t do that when you’re doing all the talking.
3. Be specific and ask for what you’re looking for. Don’t assume people can read your mind and know you need leads to disappointment. Again, this is where preparation can be helpful. If you know something about the company and the career area, you’ll be able to ask good questions that fill in the gaps in your knowledge and lead to job opportunities.
4.Focus on them not you. It’s mind-boggling how many people leave a networking meeting having learned nothing new about the other person. Networking is based on developing relationships, and to do that you need to be interested in the person you’re meeting with. Make it your goal to learn at least three new things about the person before you leave the meeting.