Here in Michigan we understand the importance of business networking in this economy. Regardless of profession, it is critical to meet others to build both opportunity and business. Across Metropolitan Detroit there are several networking events a week that bring professionals together in both informal and formal settings to meet and greet each other.
The adage that, “It is not who you know, or what you know, it is who knows you that is essential” has never been more true. When a reputation is made with someone you meet, there are no cold calls to struggle with, only recommendations and referrals to act upon.
The purpose of any networking event is to build awareness and traction for the possibility of commonality and focus. The two main reasons to meet new people are to build strategy and gain the possibility for referrals. Learning from others and getting opportunities to build business just makes sense for everyone.
Positioning yourself for networking success takes process and planning. Here are some things you should do to create that successful interaction:
- Weigh every word: Every word you speak says volumes about you. Words can change your perception to negative very quickly.
- Actions are important: Remember that people watch you in every situation and in every networking event; your non verbals can show your intention.
- Dress for success: First impressions are essential. Don’t over dress and don’t under dress. Appearance means a lot so be neither sloppy nor slick; just be yourself. People judge you by the way you look.
- Attitude is everything: Are you self serving or people serving? Treating everyone with respect and adding a sincere smile goes a long way in networking. People respond to niceness.
- Your best networking partner is you: The way you think and see yourself is critical. It affects the way to meet and network. Others always pick up on your level of confidence and outlook.
Remember that networking events are a blend of business and social, so it is critical you do not treat these situations as a time for bad jokes and noticeable drinking. Just be yourself and follow the Carnegie Principle of continuing to focus on others to win friends and influence people in a positive way.
Networking in the right way with the right message will always bring continued success.
This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Michigan, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Michigan. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @MICarnegie.
Photo Credit: thecoachingzone.co.uk