The ability to walk into a room and influence, converse and connect with people is a skill that many people have yet to learn, and yet is so valuable and priceless. Ever wonder how networking seems to be second nature to some people, and others are just, well, forgotten?
It takes practice and patience to be able to put yourself out there and let your presence be known to others. We all have different reasons for networking, but we share one similar goal- we want to influence people and be influenced to expand out contacts. So, what makes a great networker? Skilled networkers are intuitive, as they can read a person’s body language and conclude if that person is open to conversation and showing interest in being at the gathering. On a deeper level, they can sense when someone is only there to use them for their reputation and their connections.
Therefore it is important to be sincere, honest, intuitive, and persistent when networking with others. Once you found your niches and established clear goals, practice and memorize your “oral resume” (a brief introduction of yourself) and get out there and get noticed. But, that’s not enough. Why?
While being seen is good, being remembered is the best result you can get out of networking. People need to place your voice and personality with your face, so don’t show up to a gathering thinking your looks are enough to make people want to connect with you. If you don’t mingle, you will quickly fade into the background, no matter how awesome you think you are. How are people supposed to know if you don’t introduce yourself and engage with various people at the event?
The most rewarding thing that can come out of a networking opportunity is the ability to win the trust of the people you connected with. People like to be positively influenced and interested. Once you gain the ability to capture your networks and keep them interested in your story, the possibilities of success are endless. Keep the conversations going and -of course- listen to what others are saying.
Don’t be afraid to initiate a conversation! It may take practice especially if you are timid, but the more you do it, the easier it gets. When someone feels that you are truly interested in their story, they will open to you and eventually, that house of trust is being built one brick at a time. You can prove yourself to your new connects that you have something to offer the world. You are presented with the perfect opportunity to share your goals with people who have a similar life plan. You guys can help each other out and from there, strong friendships, connections, and business partners can blossom. So, get out there, mix and mingle, and most of all- have fun!
Sources:1. Henderson, Robyn.Understanding Influence For Leaders at All Levels (Extract).http://www.aim.com.au/publications/bkchapters/influence_ch5.html