When it comes to your working relationships, there is no better way to cultivate and maintain them than the act of networking. As you are probably aware, it is often more about whom you know than what you know. That is to say if you know the right people and use your networking connections wisely, your business side of your life will undoubtedly benefit.
There are many ways to go about networking and building your business relationships. Sometimes you can do so at a bonafide-networking event like a convention, a conference or something similar. But did you know you could network constantly? Even at events that are not directly related to your line of work? Read on to find out how to perfect your “non-working” networking strategy.
- Engage in conversation. Sure, this seems simple enough, but you never know what course a conversation can take and what doors or opportunities it may open and lead to. One way to make the conversation productive is to search for commonalities. Once you find some common ground and are comfortable, you can expand the conversation to other arenas.
- Make sure you are easily accessible. Maybe this means always having a business card on your person, or being easily located on services like LinkedIn. You want to be a presence people can follow up with after they meet you.
- Before you head to any event, you should make the effort to research who is going to be there in attendance. This way, if you get the chance to meet some key contacts you will be prepared and ready to engage in a productive conversation. Such preparation can also help you strategically maneuver through your time at the event. If you are there for pleasure, knowing there is someone is attendance you’d like to meet for business reasons is important to know. That way, you can carve out some time and expectations to engage with that person.
No matter how you choose to go about your “not-working” networking strategy, it is important to always remain positive, engaging and supportive. You should always be aware of and consider how other people are thinking of ways to network and consider you an asset to their efforts. Be helpful to others and they will likely pay it back to you.