Staying In Touch: Turn Networking into Connect-working

Life is busy and time is of the essence in 2016. And chances are, if you’re a business owner, you’ve got a multitude of post-it notes in your car, your office and your frontal lobe, all demanding attention. It’s hard to keep track of who’s who, what’s what and where’s, well, anything. Organization is key when it comes to tangible aspects of business, but it’s also key to the intangible aspects of business as well—like networking.

How many times do we intend to reach out, or reconnect with someone interesting that we met, but we just don’t—whether due to time restraints, or simply having nothing much to say!

That shouldn’t deter business owners from connecting with each other. But, how do you connect effectively? Here’s are some tips:

 

  1. Don’t overburden yourself at network events. If you feel an interest or connection with a few people, that’s better than shaking a thousand hands and getting a multitude of names mixed up in your mind and creating a sea of business cards at the bottom of your brief-case. Focus on a real connection at that moment. It will make your reconnection more memorable and give you something to chat about.
  2. Suggest meeting at a place just to “check it out”. If you want to reconnect with those two business friends why not use that time to check out a new lunch spot? That way there’s no pressure on either party to focus on anything other than taking in a new part of the city. It’s beneficial both professionally and for your business brand.
  3. Say Congratulations! Everyone likes to know that their accomplishments are seen. Everyone wants to know they are doing a great job. Why not send an e-mail (no Facebook posts), saying “Congrats, on the work anniversary!” or “Congrats on the promotion!”. This displays two things: first, that you’re comfortable reveling in another’s success and aren’t threatened and, second, that you have interest in their life. And that’s what networking should have a heart at—connecting with others that you respect and admire.

 

Does building your circle take time and effort? Yes. However, with the simple tools listed above, you’ll find that the effort can be minimal and the effects can be optimal! Set aside a few minutes each week to really assess your networking agenda. Go into it with an attitude of giving first and receiving second—you’ll always win.

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