Start Networking – 5 Simple Steps
By Peter Biadasz
1 – Understand you are already a networker – One of my definitions of a networker in simply “anyone who interacts with people”. Because I was 10 years into my professional career before I realized I was a networker, I was networking quite poorly. Awareness is always step
2 – Know who is in your network – You already have a network but may not have organized it for maximum results. One of my mentors had me list everyone I had known from High School to the present. After alphabetizing the list I then contacted each just to say hi, get an update on them and share a little about myself. Now my network is organized to reach out as needed on a moment’s notice.
3 – Contact someone in your network daily – Net-working involves a little work to ensure you develop great relationships. This can be easily achieved by regular contact with those most important to you.
4- Grow your network daily – To ensure your network does not stagnate add to it daily. This can be easily done by asking those in your network about their favorite customers and vendors, and then contacting their “favorites” to develop win/win relationships.
5 – Follow-up! – This is one of the most important steps in networking. Follow-up with everyone in a timely manner. This can build, or if not done break, your reputation.
BONUS – Develop an interesting and informative 8 - 30 second answer to the question – “What do you do for a living?” By having your answer prepared in advance you will always be ready to present yourself as the professional you are whether in a one-on-one conversation or to a group.