Improving networking skills
The following three tips will help you improve your networking skills:
- Listen: Learning to listen is one of the most important steps you can take. People sense when you are genuinely interested in them.
- Ask open questions: Open questions make for better conversation. These are questions that begin with words like tell me, who, what, where, when, why and how — rather than questions that can be answered with ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
- Prepare: It is essential to know what you want to say about yourself and your business (your elevator pitch). Keep this brief and practice how you say it focusing on clarity and confidence.
The most successful networkers understand that networking is not about selling to your contacts, but rather helping them and selling through them. It is essential to go beyond superficial conversations and collecting business cards. You must be willing to build lasting relationships based on trust so that the connections you form are comfortable introducing you to their contacts and referring business to you.
People don’t buy what we do, rather they buy why we do it. In my view, regardless of organisation size, inspired leaders all think from the ‘inside out’.
We believe in ‘the power of one’ — it all starts with passion and in order to be effective business leaders and networkers, all members of TEAM FPM have to be a living example of the FPM vision.
As in all aspects of life, what you put into networking influences what you get out. When you are a good resource for other people, it keeps you visible and makes it more likely that they will think of you when opportunities arise. Remember that if you receive referrals, it is important to follow up quickly so as not to let down your contacts.
FPM organises various business events for our clients during the year. These events provide excellent networking opportunities. For details of our next event…