Networking. Love it or hate it, regardless, you have to do it. There’s a lot of “buzz” about business networking and there are a few “myths” out there that quite frankly, I am here to set straight!
You have to be an extrovert to be an effective networker.
Au contraire, oftentimes introverts can be much more effective than their extroverted friends. Most extroverts like to talk and some wind up rambling and over-talking rather than asking questions and engaging in a true dialogue with their fellow networkers. Yes, it’s true that introverts might be more at ease attending smaller, tightly facilitated events and meetings where conversations are easier to come by. The good news is that there are many of them from which to choose.
You have to give your card to as many people as possible.
You’ve seen these folks at networking meetings. They’re the ones that are rushing around thrusting their card at everyone without engaging in any manner of networking conversation. They believe in the “throw enough sh-t against the wall and something is bound to stick.” Well, I’m here to tell you that’s a fallacy and the only thing they are accomplishing is making a fool of themselves. It’s quality, not quantity that makes networking a valuable endeavor.
You must have lots and lots of time to get anything from networking.
Well it’s certainly true that networking does require time but if you scale your efforts accordingly you’ll find that you have more than enough time to go to events and meetings and to also do the REQUIRED follow-up. You must be strategic and determine which groups and events are right for you. You can’t be everywhere. Ask questions, do some research and pick your networking activities with care. Your time is valuable.