Many people ask me for tips on how to have a successful and positive networking experience. One of the major components needed to succeed in networking is energy. Contrary to many beliefs, networking does not have to be hard. Most people who have difficulty networking create voids, shortages and obstacles for themselves that are not necessary. These unnecessary obstacles stop them from successfully connecting and networking with others.
Add a touch of inspiration.
The first step to networking is to decide whom you would like to meet and for what purpose. Once you utilize imagination principles, you will become inspired and able to attract those types of people into your life. Figure out beforehand what experimental values you can receive from meeting and talking with these people. Through discipline, strategy and awareness, you can figure out where the types of people that you want to meet hang out. Whether you think the best place to meet this person is at a bar, pool, club, library, church or wedding, it doesn't matter. Strategize how you will make the best use of not only their time, but your own time as well. The goal is to stay focused on the type of person you want to meet, as well as why meeting them could be a good opportunity. Use those reasons to become inspired and turn all of your possibilities into probabilities.
Have a good question.
Taking the time to plan prior to a meeting is important. When you do get approached by the person you want to meet, there are very simple steps to be statistically successful at networking. Smile, say hello and be prepared with questions that are more interested than interesting. Set yourself apart from the other thousands of people that this person meets. Think about one simple question to connect to the person such as "What do you do?” or “How are you?” or “Is there anything I can do for you?” Realize that the worst thing that could happen in this interaction is not all that bad.
Follow-up is important.
The final stage of networking that many people forget is the need to follow up. It is essential to have a system to codify all of the people that you meet, as well as how you're going to follow up with them. It may be as simple as using a pen and paper to help keep track of everyone you have talked to, or as complex as a CRM system. Even though you made a good first impression, a simple follow-up will let someone know that you appreciated meeting them and value your growing relationship. You don’t know how many other people that person has communicated with that day, so it is important to remind them of your interaction by following up. It could be something as simple as a brief email, which could have a big impact.
By combining imagination, inspiration and action principles, you can attract all the right people with the right ideas. Be someone who allows things to happen, instead of someone who makes things happen. Stop creating voids, shortages and obstacles, and start connecting to the people that can help you manifest everything you desire in life and business.
Related Video: How to Follow Up After a Networking Event