It’s not just for marketing people to be well networked. It applies to every profession, in every community. Networking implies enabling active interaction among people that you can connect in order to receive and provide knowledge. It is important because it can make a huge difference to your career, will enable you to come in contact with people that you can appreciate, can build very crucial bridges in your life and it can make a world of difference when things challenge you on many fronts. However, there are many road blocks to effective networking. The question is how to overcome them and effectively network?
The first rule is ‘Overcome hesitation’ – Many a times, we are very hesitant to really make an acquaintance with a stranger, saying Hello!! or writing a small memo introducing yourself. There is the hesitancy in us to really make that first phone call or write that first email. But if you overcome that hesitancy you can feel that you are much more comfortable in terms of how you start building your network. This is the first and most important step that one should take by overcoming hesitation.
The second important thing is ‘Don’t hesitate to ask for advice or opinion’. People really respect being asked for opinion. We always have a very high level of tendency to talk more and listen less. Just reverse the process, make your contacts talk more and provide yourself the opportunity to listen.
The third aspect to Networking is ‘Perseverance’. Don’t be afraid of dead ends. They happen all the time. Not every step that you make towards building your contacts and networking can result in a success. It doesn’t mean that you should give up your networking efforts. We should just put behind those things that doesn’t work and keep moving with the single objective of building effective networking.
The fourth important aspect is when you network, try to follow very basic etiquettes. Thanking a network that just got connected with you is a basic requirement. If you have approached a particular person for a particular aspect, keep him posted about subsequent steps that you take. This will really help them appreciating you in the long run. People do remember small things.
The fifth important aspect is, ‘Don’t restrict your networking group to your professional job colleagues’. It’s a huge temptation to really reach out and build your network only among your job colleagues. It is important to expand your network to your ex colleagues, to your friends, to your educational acquaintances and to a host of other people that can really widen your perspective.
And finally, use social media for building your networks. Among the most popular social Media today, LinkedIn counts as the most important tool for building professional network. You can be very effective by being an active LinkedIn member. You can browse people of repute and request them to connect with you and keep actively engaged in the LinkedIn by contributing to occasional articles, share updates and appreciate people when they move on to something very important. This is the most effective method of networking and it is freely available and people should make full use of this powerful engine.