The Rules of Networking
“The best networking opportunities often happen when you least expect them”
– Thomas Farley
Networking is an essential tool no matter what stage of your career you’re in. A powerful network can help you grow professionally and personally. But, how often are we prepared to share our story and our experience?
Thomas Farley, an etiquette expert, speaker and author who helps people master essential communication strategies for success in the workplace and in life, recently shared tips with the MET Community network. He provided some insightful advice on how to “work the room.”
According to Farley, an effective networker sees an opportunity to promote his or her personal brand. From the way you carry yourself to your dress style and presentation–these things all play a role.
“When it comes to networking, you should be ready to make a great impression on a new connection on a moment’s notice,” he explained.
Rules of Networking
So when it comes to upping your networking game, what words of advice does the leading national expert have?
- Always have a strategy: Having a strategy is essential to making connections. Make sure you arrive at the event with a specific goal in mind, and be open to opportunities that may present themselves.
- Be prepared. Always have business cards with you, and be ready with a one-line introduction that conveys who you are and what you do.
- Resist the urge to move too quickly. It’s easy to let yourself go too fast with a new connection. A solid networking relationship, like a true friendship, can take a while to build.
- Give, give and give. Being a frequent taker and seldom a giver violates the karma of good networking.
- Put goals into words. Once you’ve established a genuine rapport and given of your own abilities freely, speak up if there is something your contact can provide for you. Don’t expect people to be mind readers. If you don’t ask, they can’t possibly know what you might need.
For more information about Thomas Farley and to learn about his programs, visit http://whatmannersmost.com/.
You can also follow him on Twitter @mistermanners