Networking Blues: I Am Not Tech Savvy

Using technology to network can make you more effective in establishing, building and fostering relationships. It can be a method of being more responsive and available for business and improve your communication. Although the benefits are very clear, individuals sometimes face obstacles with technology. These obstacles can be overcome with the right knowledge and strategies.

Listed below are ways that individuals can leverage resources to excel in networking.

Join A Club

If you are having difficulties using technology, it is recommended to join a club or organization. Connecting with colleagues in your field or community gives you access to resources and information. Select diverse, formal groups which meet on a regular basis. This allows you an opportunity to connect and develop relationships for the long term. Also, reach out to the director or associates of the group to gain advice and direction for your initiatives.

Surf The Web

If you are not able to attend events on a regular basis, consider online groups and communities. You can select groups based on your profession, industry, interests, location etc. Take the time to read the profile of these groups and their discussion boards. Learn about their mission and how they connect with members. Definitely reach out to the administrator and seek advice for your endeavors.

Word of Mouth

Another good idea is to reach out to individuals in your current networks. Whether they are co-workers, colleagues, friends, family etc. Ask a few questions on how you can overcome common obstacles and dilemmas within technology. Share relevant information to obtain the best advice. Also, make sure to follow up and share any progress or setbacks experienced.

Use these helpful tips to be tech savvy in your networking process. Focus on building relationships and connecting with the right people to achieve good success.

Proper Networking Etiquette

It goes without saying, “First Impressions can be Lasting Impressions.”. “People will only do business with those they like and trust.” “You must earn respect and trust before you can build a strong relationship. ” “Do onto others as you would like done to you.” Although these are age old cliches, in the business world, these are tips and strong advice that professionals can live by.

In regards to networking, etiquette is extremely important in the way business is conducted. It is a credibility factor that can be leveraged to gain new business, meet people and excel in networking endeavors. Soft skills are many times overlooked or disregarded as important because people do not tend to see the value in it. But in sales, customer service, marketing and advertising many of the key selling points involve similar aspects of soft skills and etiquette. These aspects include, paying attention to detail, knowing your customer/clients needs, offering value and quality products, listening to your customers, clients or colleagues and offering solutions, following up and showing appreciation for loyalty and support.

How can professionals use etiquette as a skill in networking to build relationships and grow their business or meet their professional needs? How can business people make a great impression that will lead to referrals and promotions? How can professionals use different aspects of networking to polish their professional approach?

While meeting and connecting with others at events, the way that professionals introduce themselves and start conversation is very crucial. Professionals should not intrude or barge into a conversation. Instead they should wait until they are ushered into the group or conversation. It is helpful to step back or hang around and be included into the group instead of pushing or intruding. And when a person is invited into the circle or group, make sure to introduce themselves properly or give a quick 30 second speech. At this point, it is not appropriate to pass out business cards. A person should take the time to get to know their counterparts and their businesses. Then, if that professional feels a connection or has interest in the other person, that would be the appropriate time to exchange business cards.

During conversation, make sure that you are paying attention to what is being said. Focus on the nature and direction of the conversation. Always try to make comments and suggestions that support the present conversation or ideas that are being presented. Changing the subject or focusing on your personal interests can be a quick turn off to your business counterparts. Also, people will appreciate someone that is attentive and listens to others. While speaking in the conversation, exercise patience by waiting for others to finish speaking and avoiding cutting people off or interrupting.

These types of etiquette and soft skills while networking can greatly impact your professional and social image. It will give professionals a clear edge or advantage which will make them attractive for business and relationship building.

Networking For Success

I have realised that people generally “don’t know, what they don’t know”. Have you found that in what you do? We all think that we know about a subject or industry until we actually take the time out to learn about the subject, and I know that it is never what I think it is!

I have found that this is very true when it comes to networking. People generally think that they know what they are doing and why they are at an event without really understanding what good networking practices are all about. So, consequently, they don’t the results they were looking to gain.

I believe there is a formula that will support anyone wishing to network their business to success. One of the main reasons for most people networking is to gain ‘referrals’, but to do this, we need to develop good relationships. This doesn’t happen without you taking some action.

What actions do you take in your networking? Do you know who you are looking to meet and who your prospects actually are? We need to know and understand our niche market to know where and when to networking.

Networking is not just about attending events and hoping that something magic will happen in your business because you gave people your business card. It is about creating relationships with the people you meet and liked and maybe whose businesses and yours have some synergy. You need to take the action to make the first move, because, if you wait for them, it won’t happen!

I ask people to consider firstly WHY they are networking, as it is the ‘why’ that helps you understand what you need to do. Different ‘whys’ mean you will network differently. Once you have the ‘why’ you need to consider what and where your niche market is and then look for the type of events that will support you to meet the people you need to achieve your outcome.

Once you know ‘why’, ‘where’, ‘what’ and ‘who’, then you need to learn the ‘HOW TO’ skills to achieve the advocates you are looking to find. Your ‘raving fans’ are the people who will bring you in your business!

For me, my business and personal contacts are of utmost importance. I see them as one. I am happy to help and support anyone when people value what I have to give.

Looking forward to connect with you.