Networking helps you learn about people at all professional levels to exchange ideas. It will also boost your professional confidence.
What is the best approach to networking? Have you ever been to a networking event with a room full of noisy people talking, laughing, and having an enjoyable time? Since you don’t know many people there, you feel lost, and out of place, and can’t wait for this event to be over. If you have these feelings, you are not alone. Chances are, you, like me, are an introvert. Being an introvert does not mean that we do not have the temperament to be good networkers. It means that the way we network is different from extroverts.
More importantly, it takes skill to become a good networker for both introverts and extroverts. For example, the ability to laugh and talk loudly in a crowded room to multiple people is not necessarily networking.
However, researching to prepare for the networking event and having a prepared script with talking points for the people you meet is a part of networking. Moreover, it is not about the number of people you meet or the number of business cards you give out. It’s about the number of genuine connections to potentially long-term relationships that matter most.
Learn Why Networking Matters
As a business owner or non-profit principal, you have many jobs but only one responsibility – get whatever resources your entity needs to be successful. With a limited amount of time, how will you accomplish this? Networking is the answer. Let me give you four reasons.
- Every company needs financing, equipment, and the necessities to run a business. Knowing who to contact to get these resources is very important to an entrepreneur
- It helps generate customers and leads for contracts. People do business with people they know and like. Even in government contracting. However, digital marketing has turned lead generation into a science. More and more companies are generating leads digitally than ever before.
- It helps you identify suppliers, partners, and employees. Talent acquisition must be in every company’s core competencies with great resignation.
- It increases your visibility in your profession or local community. If you are visible, you win more contracts, are asked to participate on boards, and get invited to speak at events.