Most may not consider it, but networking is an art. Throughout my professional career I’ve been very successful in building a brand that has created an anomaly effect. Your competition is virtually eliminated, once you mastered the art of networking. Alright, let’s get right to it!
1. Do your homework
Even though it is usually underestimated, research can be a game changer! A large amount of people walk into a room blindly, and this is something you should always avoid. Knowing what type of people will be in the room is insanely important when networking. Be sure to do your homework. The more you know, the better.
If you want to turn it up a notch, and I’ve personally done this before, pick out about 5-10 people who you know will attend an event for sure, and find out in detail who they are. Find out information like hobbies, hometown, number of children etc., Google is your friend.
Here’s a fact: There will always be about 2-3 people at every networking event you go to, who can take you to the next level. If you’ve done your homework, you’ll have a general idea of who those people are and from there, you’re laser focused on your target. Trust me, it’ll make it 10 times easier to savor the time spent working in the room.
2. Be Genuine
Now that you’ve done your research, pick out a few things from the information you’ve gathered and build a bridge of relativity. Maybe their daughter went to the same college as you did, or the Miami Heat is their favorite basketball team. Go all in, get dramatic! The idea is to create an emotional connection with the person you’re talking to. And please, be honest. If you didn’t go to Harvard, don’t say you attended school there, or that somebody you knew went there for the purpose of being relative. Dishonesty is never good in networking, because the basis of networking is trust. Therefore being genuine is key.
Although networking may be viewed as common knowledge to most people, always keep in mind that “Common sense just isn’t that common.”