Learning to Love Networking (Part II)

Entrepreneurs, Public Relations Posted Jul 22, 2014 by chenpr

As my colleague Kayla Krause reminded us in her last CHEN PR blog post, summer is not just about a drink in the hand and toes in the sand—there’s still plenty of business networking happening during the lazy, hazy days. No matter what your line of work, there are many opportunities to expand your connections between Memorial Day and Labor Day.handshake

In fact, there are usually multiple opportunities every week, and attending those events is a good habit to be in to enhance professional and business development. A number of years ago I wrote an article entitled Learning to Love Networking for INC Magazine that told the story of an introverted entrepreneur who changed his business fortunes by setting a networking strategy that was right for him.

Recently BetaBoston published a brief piece on roughly the same topic. For most people, professional networking is unfamiliar and uncomfortable, and so we avoid it. In order to overcome that natural trepidation, we should do plan to succeed by keeping a few basic rules in mind before we rush headlong into the fray. BetaBoston offers four insights to keep in mind before setting out.

I’ve summarized them here:

Be active
If you aren’t networking, you’re falling behind, so get out there and do it!

Be prepared
Networking involves conversation so be ready to talk about what you do, let others know how you can help them, and be clear about what you need when asked.

Be alert
Yes, you need to go to the events and work the crowd, but networking can happen anywhere and at any time. Be alert to opportunities to talk to folks on the train, in an elevator, at the coffee shop… wherever you run into other people.

Be persistent
Be a regular at regular events and when you meet people, be sure to follow-up with them afterward and find excuses to keep your name in front of your growing list of contacts.

We hope to see you at the next event!