You may have seen this quote before, “Your network is your net worth.” The quote holds an important truth about the relationships we build as entrepreneurs both in our business and in our personal lives. Your network is critical. You can get access to a multi-million Naira contract simply because of your network. It all starts with knowing how to network properly as a business woman and how to cultivate relevant contacts in your network.
This is how to network like a pro;
Have the right mindset. Do not to go into a roomful of strangers thinking: ‘What can I get out of this?’ But instead, think about what you can offer. What value can you add? This changes your mindset from desperation to a spirit of generosity.
Have your elevator pitch ready. Have a short, concise version you can share about what you do, who your clients are and what your goals are. If possible, give a sense not only of what you do but who you are. Practice your elevator speech as often as possible.
Be your best authentic self. Don’t over-rehearse your elevator pitch to the point that you become unrelatable. Always be real and authentic. Let people get to know the real you. Don’t put up an appearance of who you think they want you to be.
Be deliberate. Don’t just sit in your office or your house day in day out. Go for events. You must however be deliberate about it. If you are an event planner, you should be at an Event Expo which is a key industry event for you. You might also choose to attend events where you are likely to meet corporate executives. The goal is to be visible and get noticed. Make sure you regularly attend business and social events that will help to get your face known.
Do your research. When you go for events, do some research and find out who the potential attendees are. Decide the ones you will like to connect with and do some more research on them. This will allow you to strike conversations confidently and you also show that you are truly interested in the person or the brand they represent.
Give time. Don’t expect overnight miracles from networking. It takes time for people to develop confidence in you and you need to invest in those relationships. Try connecting with them on a level other than business – as humans, we always bond through shared interests, no matter what they are.
Do you have any other networking tips? Do share.