Is one of your business goals in 2020 to network more? Read on for our best advice for how to network like a pro.With so many avenues to go down, the concept of networking can seem daunting; often leaving people skeptical of its sincerity and relevance to their own industry. But when executed well, nothing could be further from the truth. All it takes is an understanding of what networking is really about and how to make it work for you.

Be Genuine
The most important thing to realise is the value of being genuine. Unfortunately the term ‘networking’ conjures up misconceptions of false pretenses riddled with ulterior motives. Some people may well adopt the strategy of being pushy, needy or self-serving, but there really is no need. All you should do is be professional whilst staying true to yourself. The more genuine you are, the more your personality will sell itself.

Be Thoughtful
If you go into a networking situation thinking solely about yourself then you will most likely lose out on some potential gems of contacts. Remember that everyone has needs, some of which you could help with. Networking is like any other relationship – it’s a two-way street, built on give and take, not to mention mutual respect and a strong element of trust. It should go without saying that the more you offer to others the more likely good karma will come back to find you.

Its All About Relationships card isolated on white background

Be Receptive
Staying open to new ideas and people is key to connecting with people you would otherwise overlook. One of the greatest attributes of networking is the opportunity to transcend boundaries by joining the dots between industries and professions; creating a pool of knowledge and resources that otherwise would not be accessible. Do not dismiss anyone just because they are not from your industry. Instead look at their individual profile and see how you can be of use to one another.

Quality not Quantity
Whilst building your network is important, so is the selection of whom you choose to connect with. If you are trying to promote yourself then invest more time with fewer, more relevant people, making yourself memorable. If you make a good impression (in a genuine way of course) then the people you meet will no doubt talk about you and your services to others. You should return the favour by doing the same thing.

Be Proactive
If you meet or communicate with someone you spark with then follow it up. Hopefully you will have exchanged names and professional details, in which case send them an email expressing that you were pleased to meet them and that you should stay in touch. Be friendly and personable without overdoing it. Find them on LinkedIn and invite them to join your network. Use your people skills to introduce your contacts to one another too as this will tighten bonds and create stronger circles. Likewise, if you have connected with someone online then don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and arrange a meeting in person – maybe even hold your own networking event.

If you haven't got time to network in person, why not look for virtual networking groups on social media?  Bucks Biz have a Facebook group so that you can find and talk to other businesses in our offices to rent Milton Keynes - why not check it out by clicking the button below.

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