Many careers have been catapulted to the top just because of strong business connections. But building useful relationships can be a slow process when you don’t know how to optimize your opportunities. Nurturing strong business relationships is an ongoing process that requires a well thought out strategy.
Relationships can be slow moving and it can take a long time to build enough trust that they are useful so here are some tips for growing your network of connections fast.
The speed of relationship building matters -you need to network fast
Attend conferences, seminars and industry related events and make them work for you. Select your events carefully and do a little research to make sure the type of people you want to meet will be there.
Networking at Events
Meeting people at events can be a colossal waste of time unless you make it your business to maximize the usefulness of every introduction. To do this, take time, in advance, to prepare by thinking about the type of person that you will meet and create a memorized list of questions pertaining to the topic of the event. In addition, you will need to think of some questions that are of a generic personal nature so that you can take your introduction from business virtual roundtables to the personal realm. People are more apt to remember you if they see you as a real person that has something in common with them. Your conversation should follow a pattern of general questions or comments about the event to more personal information sharing and ending back at business by telling the person what your business interests are for future reference. For example you might say “Well, it’s been a great event, I’m really interested in John’s area of expertise and would love to work hat area someday”.
Remember People and Details
Just after your event, make sure you make a list of people you want to remember and note the personal information that they told you so that later you can jog your memory. Now make a point of following up with those that are of interest to you. This is the fastest way to make useful connections outside of your work environment.
Join social networking sites and make an effort to connect with others. Although you may not be able to meet to immediately meet people from these websites you can certainly advance your goals by making yourself known through engaging in blogs or other social networking activities.
Make time for relationship building at the office. Instead of phoning or emailing go and see the person and make sure you show interest in them personally. Workplace relationships can be very rewarding but also have some major pitfalls.
Make the most of every contact you make -take note of their name, remember something about them. If you meet a lot of people quickly write down some details of your conversation to jog your memory fast
Don’t be afraid of marketing yourself. Tell people what you do and where your interests lie. The more you spread the word about yourself the more likely your name will come to mind when opportunities arise. In order to be memorable, brand yourself strategically. To bond with people you need to have similar interests but at the same time you need to have a distinct characteristic or skill that will stand out as unique and interesting.