How you communicate with others will determine which doors open for you and which ones slam in your face. With the right networking tips working on your behalf, you may even recognize some invisible doors which most people unknowingly bypass. Some aspects of communication are a matter of personal style, but much of it comes down to skills that anyone can learn. The following tips are adaptable to any personality and a wide variety of networking situations, so prepare for doors to open.
Know When to Go Deep
It is easy to strike up a casual conversation with many different people in attempt to expand your network, but how often do you get to know other people in more depth? You may think that you don’t have the time to worry about getting to know the names of someone’s children or what line of work their wife is in, but those are in-depth details that could take your network to the next level.
Ivan Misner, the founder of BNI and a professional networker, wrote an article for Entrepreneur.com detailing the importance of going deep with members of your network. You want to know everything there is to know about them so that you can help them excel in all areas of their lives.
This isn’t something you need to do with every person who shows interest in your network. Hand select your deeper circle, and invest in people who make you want to do better in your own life. As you get to know them on a deeper level, you will open doors that could benefit your future tremendously. You may have to close some less profitable doors in order to focus more closely on doors that show more promise, but that will only focus your professional life on greater success.
Don’t Hesitate to Go First
This is the most basic of all networking tips, but it is one of the most important. Don’t sit back waiting for the perfect job to fall into your lap or the perfect business partner to approach you at a networking event. You need to wake up every day with a list of actions that will help you find the doors that you want to open. Yes, they may open before you like magic at times, but that typically happens after months or years of hard work.
Recognize the type of people you want to meet or partner up with, and then get busy. Search your social and professional networks to find mutual connections, and then reach out to friends and acquaintances that may help you connect with others. Do your research before meeting a potential partner or job recruiter so that you know what the other person needs and how you can meet those needs. Try to learn more about people that you may meet at a networking event so that you know who to talk to and what to say to them.
Even professionals like Ivan Misner recommend that everyone consult with a trustworthy mentor. You will improve your skills and open many doors with the right networking tips, but you will need further guidance specific to your life if you want to excel in any type of business.