How To Network Like a Pro in 2022
My mother was always right. Every move you make in your career and in business should make some noise. Your greatest asset is always networking. Your personal capabilities, as well as your network’s ability to magnify them. Staying persistent, and consistent, until you witness compounding growth by receiving referrals and introductions. You must have the mindset to network like a pro.
Ultimately, the more people you know, the more people you’ll get introduced to. Seek the force-multipliers who can make connections and help you get your foot in the door for a new job, or a potential business opportunity. How to develop and sustain networking like a pro is the key to your career and future business growth.
1. Client referrals: A happy client who can refer you to new clients
You always start at a higher point of trust. Client referrals are some of the most lucrative leads you can receive. That referral already has established trust and knowledge about you and your business. An endorsement from someone else has a much higher rate of conversion – as high as a 70% rate – than if you were selling yourself to a new prospect. I have experienced this firsthand in my own business, satisfied and engaged clients are powerful sales leads that have created exponential growth. Price is typically less of an issue, and the sales process usually moves faster.
2. Professional organizations
There are associations and organizations for virtually every industry, so no matter what field you’re in, there’s likely a professional organization that you can join. Do your research and assess several until you find your tribe. Attend events and in person meetups that are hosted by these organizations; this is a great way to make new contacts and get your name out there.
3. Show appreciation
It’s the small steps that are often overlooked in building your network. Show your appreciation to a new connection for their time and expertise, by sending a thank you follow up email relevant to your discussion, or perhaps a hand-written note. You are laying the foundation and commitment to your relationship – a very important first step. Remember that the fortune is always in the follow up – network like a pro.
4. Reciprocity and influence
Reciprocity in networking. If, for example, a friend invites you to their party, there’s an obligation for you to invite them to a future party you are hosting. When it comes to influence and reciprocity, people make decisions for their reasons, not yours. So, take the pressure off yourself and focus on adding value to the other person’s business first and foremost. Remember that networking is not quid-pro-quo, however it also should not be one-sided. Some tactics to influence others include reasoning, inspiring, asking questions, deal making, asking for a favor, invoking silent allies.
5. Stay informed on your industry trends and developments
When you network like a pro, your network will provide insights and market intelligence into industry specific market conditions. You’ll have access to resources and training opportunities you may not have sourced on your own, and you can access relevant events through key contacts that may not have been available otherwise.
In networking, and in summarizing, I decode the statement: “What are you bringing to the party?”. My dear mother drilled this into me and my siblings growing up. What are you bringing to the party? To the networking event? The webinar? The situation? To the conversation? Participate. Consider what you are bringing.