Create Experiences Beyond Connecting Online
Social media has confined individuals’ identities to a list of profiles. The mark of 500+ connections on LinkedIn may be good for your profile’s image, but how often are those connections extended as partnerships or opportunities? You may appreciate the “Congrats on the new role! Hope you’re doing well.” message, but you know it’s generic. You’ve clicked the send button once or twice.
Make sure you take the time to attend industry, or even adjacent industry events and you will be reminded that nothing beats face-to-face interactions. Don’t think of networking in terms of business cards and handshakes. Consider networking the disruptor of social platforms improving how you identify your individuality, build authenticity and make real connections that will convert into sales, clients, strategic partners and overall business and personal growth.
1. Quality Over Quantity
Focus on one person at a time.
Meeting the right people doesn’t mean you have to meet every person. Finding networking events that are designed to influence the industry you work in will generate leads on its own.
When you continue to look for the next person to talk to you’re passing up opportunities to fully engage in the conversation you’re having. One strong 30-minute conversation could lead to introductions between people who aren’t even attending the event.
2. Find Common Ground
Ditch the pitch.
Odds are that more people will be opening with the same question. “So, what do you do?” “What company do you work for?”
It’s okay to listen to others’ conversations at events. Attention to how other networkers have defined their goals opens the door to finding similarities that you can build a conversation around. Plus, taking interest in others can impact the interest they take in you.
3. Friendship Leads to Partnership
Know your story.
Partnerships are formed through trust. Willingness to share challenges, ideas, and points of view inspires others to do the same.
Learning about another’s personal experiences creates a gateway for friendship. You’re more likely to build a foundation to work together when there is a mutual understanding of life beyond the office.
4. Ask Powerful Questions
You don’t have to know every answer.
Often people fear asking questions they don’t have their own opinion on or answer to, especially when surrounded by those who are leaders in their industry.
Networking is about keeping an open mind. The reason people gather at these functions is to expand their perspective and opportunities. If you ask a question that promotes your curiosity, you’ll either find someone with an answer or someone willing to look for a solution with you.
So remember, there’s still a whole wide world out there, where you can make true connections in person. Find networking events that match your areas of expertise and benefit from meeting new people face-to-face. If you work in the hotel, resort, travel or vacation ownership / timeshare industry, check out GNEX Conference – an innovative event that has a heavy focus on networking, which attracts more than 200+ senior-level industry executives, representing more than 130+ companies. The next event is onboard the world’s first Mega-Yacht event venue – the $40 million SeaFair Grand Luxe – in Miami, Florida, 26-28 February 2018. For more information visit http://gnexconference.com