Are you running out of ideas on the most efficient ways to network with somebody, but you have to increase your connections for work? IPWS asked our members on their ‘tried & true’ networking techniques and after reading the following tips, you’ll be prepared to meet new friends and colleagues.
The most fundamental social skill to have is often a lot harder than it seems. When you are meeting several people at a time or throughout the night, it is obviously important to remember who they are. One of our members gave the simple tip of writing their name out yourself on their business cards, along with what you talked about, or say it aloud three times! In China, we have Wechat to help us remember people, so grab their QR Code, and add them straight away, and leave a note or remark on their Name Card on where you met them. You’ll have their name, photo, and where you met them saved to help you.
Keep an Open Mind
Asking questions about the ‘unknown’ is a great way to broaden your knowledge and even help you in ways you couldn’t imagine. By asking questions, you show you’re interested in learning more about them, are eager to learn new things. Plus, it will open more possibilities for conversation and help you find further ways to work together!
The 300 Second Rule
One member pointed out that although it may be tempting to try to meet as many people as possible, don’t jump from one person to another just to collect as many business cards as you can. It may take longer to meet more people, but aiming to converse with someone for at least 5 minutes will help make your encounters more memorable for both sides. Be genuine and interested in what the other person has to say, and conversation will flow easily.
Half Empty or Half Full?
But what about when the conversation is going nowhere? Don’t stay at a dying conversation just for the sake of it. One tip a member gave us is to leave your glass with a few sips left. By having your glass almost empty, it can be easy to leave smoothly by saying, “I’m going to get another drink, talk to you later!” and not seem rude.
Collaborating on projects is one of the most effective ways of networking, and really getting to know people outside of your working life. We can all benefit from trusted working relationships, and collaborating on projects can accelerate your network in a different way. So take advantage of those group projects!
Do Your Research
If you know who you may potentially meet, there’s no harm in doing a little bit of research! Jump on LinkedIn or Facebook and have a look at what they are all about, to help you gracefully spark up conversations about shared interests!
It’s important to talk to everyone about what you do and who you are. Communicate your excitement about your work and interests to show people your personality and passions. Who knows – this could potentially open doors of future business partners.
Have any of these techniques worked for you? Got any more to share? If you’d like to suggest some more, share your thoughts on our Facebook or LinkedIn and start the conversation!