Networking is very important to any entrepreneur. The people you have in your network, most times, will determine how far you can go to get stuff done.
5 MUST-HAVE networking skills every entrepreneur needs
The people that make up your network should be people that have interests that are similar to yours.
Your network is sort of like your group of friends but on a strictly business level. The people that make up your network should be people that have interests that are similar to yours. They should also be able to benefit you in ways which you cannot benefit yourself.
That being said, people will not just walk up to you and try to form a business relationship (unless you have a couple billion dollars), so you have the right tools for recruiting people into your network.
Here are five proven hacks that will help you network better and recruit the kind of people you need into your business circle:
Make friends, not contacts: Lets assume you need a connect in a big company. If the connect is just another business card you picked up, what are the chances that the person will help you? Slim.
But if the person is someone you sort of speak to on a regular basis, someone you have grabbed a beer with a couple times, and connected with of a mutual loves for Wizkid's music, etc., the person is more likely to help you. Why? You're friends.
This is not to encourage you to become a social climber that just goes around pretending to like everybody because people usually see that from a mile away. Instead this is to say that it is better to connect with someone you want in your network on an emotional level.
Listen - because most people don't: In the high-energy, ambitious world of entrepreneurship, you'd be surprised how much people are willing to tell you if they get the sense that you care.
That aside, it is also an amazing opportunity for you to find out more about the person speaking to you. It is one of the fastest ways to make friends and build an amazing network.
Tell your story: You'd be surprised to find out how many people have great zero-to-hero stories. These are the stories that people are most empathetic to because they are mostly honest and come from a real place.
Tell your story - not the story people want to hear. That is the best way to stand out and leave an indelible mark on people.
Request an introduction: This is such an underrated way to meet new people. Everybody knows someone. If you need to meet a particular person, ask the people you know if they know someone that know that person, then ask for an introduction.
That said, it is important to not overstep a boundary and over ask. It is also always nice to reciprocate whenever possible. Build your own network so that you will be able to offer something when you want to make use of people's network.
Keep your word: In business, your word is everything. Nobody wants to have anything to do with someone who "may be available", or "is kind of reliable". Everybody (including you) wants someone that can deliver. If you cannot give your word and stick to it, then all your other networking efforts may not amount to much.
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