1. Keep Contract
It might sound too obvious but it’s vital for every single business relationship. Keep in touch with people and do not let them forget you. Imagine a person, whom you haven’t heard from for weeks or months, starts asking you for favours or advice. ou’re probably not making him/her a priority. Keep a record of the people you have been in contact with and check in with them every now and then. Just a basic call to say hello or an e-mail asking how they are doing keeps up a good network.
2. Be Open to New Possibilities
This does not mean that you must participate every single fair of your line of business or be a member of all the rotary clubs nearby. Choose the best ones of interest and be active. Not every business relationship is built at the office or formal meetings. Keep an open mind when you meet new people outside your work, talk to random people at a friend’s party and engage in small talk at the gym or when you’re out for running. You never know what kind of openings you will be offered. I once received a job lead from someone I accidentally met in a sushi restaurant in the middle of busy Shanghai. As long as you’re actively networking, you are engaging with other people, and by doing this you will build up your own valuable network for the future.
3. Trust Building
Honesty is the key for building trust. You should never take anyone for granted or try to take advantage of people. They will see the bluff. If you are open and not putting your own interest first when helping someone, it will be recognized and people know that they can rely on you.
4. Hard Work Pays Off
Who would you invest time in? People who can actually make things happen or people who look like they are but don’t provide any results? Always give a little bit more than is expected. Deliver early, don’t let people wait and be the person who makes the first effort. You will be remembered and next time when you need something, most likely you will get it – and probably a bit more than you expected.
5. Show Your Interest in Others
The difference between hearing and listening can be crucial. A sincere interest in what the other person has to say gives a totally different image of yourself than only talking about yourself and your thoughts. Ask precise questions and patiently wait for your turn. After a business meeting, you can write down the most important personal aspects of the other person, next to the basic business notes. It’s impressive if you have taken the time to remember the other person’s stories next time you meet.
6. Quality Before Quantity
Networking is meeting people, talking to people but it is also picking up the most potential cases that have a possibility to turn into good relationships. You will be busy with your life and business so invest your time wisely. Good advice for every networking event is to have a goal to have just one good business contact. The trick is that you can’t know beforehand which one is the best one, so keep an open mind and of course, Keep Cool.