How to network like a pro

Kate O'Sullivan is ADPR MD Kate O'Sullivan is ADPR MD

Networking can be hugely beneficial – it can help expand your client base, find a new job or build a professional network. Whether you see yourself as a networking natural or the thought makes your blood run cold, below are some simple tips to make networking easier, writes Kate O'Sullivan.

Less is more

There are hundreds of events you could attend. Before you sign up, think. What do you want to gain from networking? Who would you like to meet? Spend time having meaningful conversations with fewer people.

Show up early

Research has shown the more introverted among us thrive in small groups, so one simple trick for avoiding your worst networking nightmare is to turn up early when there are fewer people.

Set yourself goals

You could be an exceptional business person but nobody will know if you’re too afraid to speak. Set yourself a goal to speak to a specific number of people and stick to it.

Listen

One of the big problems with networking is the assumption it’s all about selling. Networking is about building relationships – not making the sale. Show a sincere interest, ask questions and listen to what others say.

Volunteer

If the thought of standing in a room with nothing to do but network fills you with dread, then volunteering at the event can be the perfect way to meet people, whilst having a role that will keep you busy and focused.

Follow up

You’ve heard it before. To make networking meaningful follow up with your contacts. Apparently, we forget half of what we hear within 48 hours, so follow up within this time scale.

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