6 Tips to Help Improve Your Networking Skills

It’s true that your network is your net worth. When you network out of genuine curiosity in all environments, you learn things you otherwise may not have known. If you have a typical routine and see many of the same people each day, take the time to get to know them. You never know what opportunities you may uncover. Here are six tips to help improve your networking skills.   

 1. Introduce Yourself 

A great way to meet people is by introducing yourself. Wherever you are, walk up to someone, put out your hand and tell them your name. Talk about who you are and what you do. Ask the person to do the same. Put yourself out there and show who you truly are so you attract whom you need. 

 2. Make Friends   

Because friends do business with friends, focus on starting relationships. Discuss your goals, dreams, challenges and personal interests. Find commonality to bond over. If someone especially impresses you, ask them to coffee or lunch to continue your conversation. When you need an in at a company and you have an established relationship with an employee there, you’re more likely to find the value you’re looking for than if you simply picked up that person’s business card.    

 3. Listen 

Be unlike most people and attentively listen. Show you are truly interested in what they have to say. Given the opportunity to truly connect enhances that person’s view of you as a friend. People trust you and feel safe sharing who they are. You gain much more knowledge when you give someone your undivided attention. What you learn could lead to career opportunities down the road.    

4. Give Before Asking 

Always give before asking for something in return. When you meet someone, think about how you can help them reach a goal, make a connection or overcome an obstacle. Show your willingness to invest in them, add value to their life and build trust. If nothing comes from the relationship, be happy that you helped someone.   

5. Request an Introduction 

If you want to meet a person, ask the people you know if they know anyone who knows the person. When you find someone who does, ask them to introduce you. Because a warm lead is better than a cold one, you’re more likely to get in the door as a referral than a cold email or phone call. Be sure to reciprocate when possible.   

6. Keep your word 

Follow through on everything you say you’ll do. Your word and reputation are your biggest assets. If you promise to follow up, then follow up. If you say you’ll close a deal, uphold the deal to the highest standard. People make referrals to someone who’s reliable and always there. 

Network with a Chicago Employment Agency 

Find your next role by networking with Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. Our extensive networking and recruitment programs help us place all levels of accounting and finance candidates. Contact our leading finance recruiters today! 

The Power of Networking!

Career advancement is not only about what you do, but even more importantly, who you know.  Having a strong network and nurturing it will help you take the next steps necessary to have a career that is challenging and gives you the opportunities for advanced roles in your career.

Networking is an art.  Dictionary.com’s definition of networking is:  “To cultivate people who can be helpful to one professionally, especially in finding employment or moving to a higher position”.  Wherever you are, talk to people who surround you and have a defined plan in place.

According to “Becoming a Master Networker” webinar by Amy Bingham, Bingham Consulting, follow this roadmap:

  1. Prepare – Conduct research on where like-minded people congregate, select ideal groups (in-person business meetings and social networking sites such as LinkedIn Groups).  Understand what is important to these groups, so you will be able to make contributions that are helpful to each group.
  2. Engage – Have a few good conversations with people and take good notes verses just collecting business cards.  Make sure people can understand in simple terms what you do when you introduce yourself and how they can help you.
  3. Position Value – Be able to articulate what makes you different and why people enjoy working with you and/or your company.  People need to understand how they will benefit.
  4. Assist – Networking is a two way street, so let the people you network with know you are looking for referral partners.  Find out what they do and how you might be able to assist them.  Be sincere and a good listener!
  5. Follow Up – Within 48 hours, follow up with the person’s referral as well as with the person who had helped you with your network and gave you the referral.
  6. Nurture – Stay in touch and share information that might be helpful to your network.  Examples would be hiring tips and thought leadership articles on their industry.  Use Google Alerts to obtain articles weekly and keep up to date on current trends.

Get started today in becoming a power networker!  The easiest way to begin is to make a list of all the people who can help you achieve the success you are looking for:  friends, co-workers, and groups you can join both online and in-person.  Make sure you know why each person and group is important to you.  Every opportunity that you meet a new person or even someone you have known for awhile, can turn into a powerful referral.  Think about your last job or the last item you purchased, was it through a referral?