The Art of Networking
By Erin Milburn on Tuesday, June 21st, 2016
Have you ever questioned the value of networking? Unless you’re tracking personal connections, it can be difficult to gauge the level of impact it has on your business. I recently sat down with Amber Rose Bjerke, CEO of 3BOSSES and REALTOR® at Bayshore Realty. She’s a local business woman who has built an impressive network of business partners and clients. She credits her success to crafting her listening skills, finding common interest or shared experience and connecting individuals to resources that help them meeting their goals.
“If you want to be successful in business, networking is important. Some key elements to remember is commit to excellence, be authentic, and continue to learn and grow. If you are genuinely curious and interested in other people, they will share what you need to know about them. Too often people have a transactional mindset when we need to be more relationship based,” says Amber Rose Bjerke.
For those of you who haven’t mastered the art of networking like Amber, this article by Devora Zack of Careerealism, offers some great tips on how to brush up on your skills:
1. Be True To You
You are better qualified to be you than anyone else. Stamp out networking advice that demands you behave in ways that drain you. Harness natural abilities as networking strengths rather than liabilities. Like to listen, not talk? Do it. Energize alone? Go for it. Prefer one-on-one conversation? Arrange it.
2. Realize Less Is More
Be selective. Go to fewer events and be more focused when attending rather than dragging your weary self to every business opportunity and showing up like a networking prisoner.
3. Plan Your First Impression
Cognitive scientists say it can take up to 200 times the amount of information to undo a first impression as it takes to make one. Who has that kind of spare time? Not you! Show up with the best version of you, every time. You never know who you are meeting.
Many of us dislike networking events because we don’t know what to say to a group of strangers. Free floating through a room is a fast track to free floating anxiety. What to do? Simple. Volunteer to help out. Voila! You have a purpose and something to talk about. Even better, you position yourself as someone helpful proving how indispensable you are rather than telling everyone about it.
5. Get In Line
This strategy is brilliant. You walk into a networking event with nowhere to go and no one to glom onto. What’s a desperate networker to do? Get in a queue. Any queue. The longer the better!
Now, it’s up to you to try out some of these techniques covered at your next event. As long as you stay true to your personal brand and focus on how to help others, you will be successful.
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