Networking: How To Do It Properly Some say networking doesn't work and is just a waste of a businessperson's precious time. But most of those who are cynical about networking are people who have tried it but failed. Disappointed, they share their negative networking experience with others. But what about those who have grown in their business because of networking? What about those who have success stories to tell? There are reasons why networking doesn't work with some and there are reasons why it works with others. Understanding the nature of networking and knowing how to use it to your advantage is the key to networking success. This is the secret to the success of many networking groups, like the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW). The following are the key steps to follow to succeed in networking. Do your homework. If you are attending an event, do a little research on the theme, check out who are the speakers and who are on the guest list and other people who are expected to come. Figure out what would be the most possible conversation topics among this group of people. This way, you will always have a thing to say about any discussions you will find yourself in. Choose your approach. In a gathering, you cannot just stand there and expect people to come to you first. Always make it a policy to approached, not to be approached. When you approach people, look relaxed and friendly. Look confident but not too much as to look arrogant and superior. Smile, even if you don't feel like smiling. Approach as many people as you can. Say a simple HI, introduce yourself and start a little conversation. After a few minutes of small talk - probably about the speaker, the food, the place start introducing your business. Remember this is only a mini-pitch. Make it short, engaging and informative. Describe your business in a very concise but complete manner. Say only the core of your business. Don't do all the talking. Listen to the other person also and show interest in what he is saying.
Learn about the person's business and suggest ways of how you can work together and help each other's businesses grow. Offer helpful suggestions and they will offer their suggestions too. It is at this point that you can see a connection, or a lack of it, with the person. If you connect, set another meeting with him in the future. If you don't see any connection, you can move on to another person, but be sure to give him your business card.