Most of us think of networking more as an art form than a product of science. We tend to think that only those with heightened social skills will ever reap the joys of networking.
Networking isn’t just smiling, mixing, and mingling. You can be just as effective by taking a position on a committee or volunteering to host an event. Your administrative skills are as appreciated as your social skills.
The trick to networking effectively is to choose a group or association that is comprised of your potential clients. If you are a human resource mediator then you should join and participate in the local human resource associations. Become an active member, take a position on a committee, volunteer to chair an event, speak at their meetings, manage their website, write articles for their newsletter, etc.
GET INVOLVED. The more your target knows about you and your service the more likely they are to contact you and not your competition the next time they need a mediator.
The goal is to get your name and your service to top of the prospects’ minds.
As an expert networker you will have many opportunities to “touch” prospective sources of referral. Take advantage of every interaction, of every point of contact.
Give at least four new people your business card every day. It doesn’t matter to whom you give them, (remember the rule of six-degrees of separation) cab drivers, waitresses, the postman etc., essentially everyone with whom you come in contact.
Write (and send) four notes or personal letters, handwritten of course, to prospects every day. This activity alone adds up to over 2,000 contacts per year.
A true master of networking provides as many if not more referrals than he receives. The good will you create will bring far more business in the long run and establish you as someone who understands the value of a relationship and the subsequent referrals.
Most importantly – don’t forget you manners. Write thank you cards or letters of appreciation to those whom you have met in a social setting who are new acquaintances, who have provided a service, or anyone who can provide you business either first hand and via a referral.