Business networking is not just about making introductions and pocketing business cards. If done right, it could be the key factor that can help your business take off.
The old adage of ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ is still true today and despite the endless possibilities of reaching out via social media, building relationships face to face will always triumph over other avenues. Did you know that 60 per cent of jobs occur in the ‘hidden job market’ where roles are not advertised but instead offered to someone who has been ‘recommended’?
Networking should form a natural element of your day-to-day life, and is certainly not something to be switched on and off for specific networking events or clubs. From a friend’s birthday party to a relative’s retirement gathering, most occasions present the opportunity for meeting new acquaintances, both young and old, and offer the chance for everyone to expand their circle of contacts.
Most successful networking is a result of gatherings where you are relaxed and genuinely interested in meeting new people. It is, if you like, a by-product of having good social skills.
Whether you are naturally an introvert or an extrovert, networking well will have a direct correlation with opportunities that come your way and whilst the thought may fill you with some apprehension, there is a simple process than can be applied to most business and social situations.
Here is my step by step approach to networking with confidence:
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