5 Ways To Be A Better Networker

5 tips to make you a better networker (Photo: Shutterstock/Tsyhun)
5 tips to make you a better networker (Photo: Shutterstock/Tsyhun)

For some people, networking just seems to come naturally. With a bit of practice and preparation, though, you, too, can get more natural with meeting new contacts and developing a rich network of of people who can help you in some way in your line of work.

Always have a business card on you

This might sound like networking 101, but how many times have you found yourself at a lunch and with no business cards on you? Always keep a couple in your wallet so that you always have at least a few on you for those times you don’t have your briefcase or business card holder with you.

Keep on top of current events

It can be easier to chat with people you’ve just met when you’re up on the latest news and headlines. Watch the news or read the paper or use your Twitter feed to help you keep up on news by following news channels. If you learn of personal details when chatting with someone (perhaps they mention an upcoming vacation or that they just adopted a dog), make note of that on your smartphone or on their business card so that you’re more likely to remember to ask them about it the next time you bump into them at a function.

Know your elevator pitch

If you stumble when describing who you are and what you do, that sets things off on a bad note as it makes the conversation a bit awkward off the bat. Develop a simple and quick introduction, one that easily rolls off the tongue. Keep it short and resist the temptation to ramble; they don’t need to know your entire career history; after all, you want them to have things to ask you about to keep the conversation going.

Work on your listening skills

You might find yourself thinking of what to say next rather than listening to the person you’ve just met, but most people like to talk about themselves. By paying attention and showing interest, you’ll be able to ask them more about themselves and work off of what they’ve shared.

Network in all types of scenarios

Don’t limit your networking only to conventions and seminars related to your industry. When you go to a tennis club or a baseball game, you might meet someone who works at the company you’re keen on breaking into. Plus, as you’ll be taking part in an activity you enjoy personally, you can already relate on that level to the contact you’ve just met.

 

Karen Kwan

Karen Kwan

Karen Kwan is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared in Flare, Elle Canada and ElleCanada.com, Glow, Metro, Huffington Post Canada, Travelife and Travel + Escape. She also runs her blog, HealthandSwellness.com, where she writes about health, beauty, fitness and lifestyle.

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