Try These 10 Tips for Networking Success

Networking app Reach wants you to make strong, long-lasting business relationships in the new year. Here are 10 tips:

1. Do your research on the event or keynote. It’s important to be able to hold a topical conversation while working the room to build rapport. People who seem oblivious to this come off as not being genuine and the conversation usually ends rather quickly.

2. 2’s a party, 3’s a party. Attend events with friends or colleagues. It’s fun and will make you more approachable. Wingmen or women will also help you avoid those potentially awkward ice-breakers.

3. Be authentic. This is especially important when networking in a smaller city or niche industry where everyone knows each other. Preserve your image; you only have one shot at a first impression.

4. Actually listen. Don’t be the blank staring head-nodder or cut off people when they are answering a question you’ve asked them. Some people are direct and others like to speak cryptically but either way there is something to be learned or used to further that relationship.

5. Be ready to pitch. Though hard-selling is never encouraged there is a strong likelihood that someone will ask what you or what you are working on and to elaborate. Also keep in mind that everyone you speak with will not instantly understand your role, project or ideas, but be patient.

6. Be visible before an event. Use platforms like Twitter, MeetUp or Facebook to “listen” in or contribute to a conversation before the event to build a presence or make a few virtual friends.

7. Look interesting. Dress the part, dress a part or stand out in a crowd somehow with a look or accessory. Wearing your brand’s logo on a T-shirt can help identify you, especially if the slogan is a conversation starter.

8. Lend your ears and then a hand. Provide content, connections, advice, mentorship or recommendations to someone you meet. Adding value and solving someone’s problems in an initial conversation not only makes you memorable but radiates leadership and genuineness.

9. Follow Up. Always write a prompt follow up with a call to action to stay top of mind. Express gratitude for their time and making a real connection with them. Keep the momentum and suggest a follow-up meeting over the coming days.

10. Use networking apps. These apps are great to start the conversation and can also filter your connections by proximity, industry and job title for efficient networking.
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