Summary: Networking is an invaluable resource. In order to make the most out of networking events, follow these guidelines.
Whether you are attending a networking event or just casually meeting new people, the encounter can provide some awkward moments if you are not prepared. You need to be able to form a meaningful relationship with the other person quickly so that both parties will be encouraged to progress the friendship.
The first strategy is to make sure the other person does more talking. When the other person is not much of a talker, encourage them with these provoking questions and topics that avoid simple yes and no answers:
- When introduced by someone else, ask them how they know the introducer or what the introducer said about you to them.
- Be honest and ask them what they hope to gain from the meeting.
- Ask about what activities/organizations they are involved in.
The second strategy is to make requests for action that are effective. Example questions may be:
- “Who would be good people for you to meet? I may know someone that would prove helpful for you.”
- “Do you know anyone at my companies of interest that you would be willing to make a personal introduction to for me?”
Always start by offering a favor first before asking of one. This will help trust between both parties.
Photo: onlinelaw.wustl.eduMake Networking More Beneficial by Amanda Griffin