Want to improve your career, grow your business? Learn these 4 rules of networking.

Whether it’s increasing your results or responsibilities, or finding a new activity, the way forward will require not just working on the inner you, but also establishing contact with others. Have you perfected your networking technique? Let me share the four rules I follow. Try them and tell me how it goes!
It’s the New Year and you are in “improvement mode”. We all are. And I decided to take a few moments to give you the fruit of my experience, both as a digital health specialist and a coach. Whether it’s progressing in your current business or finding some new activity, the way forward will require not just working on the inner you, but also establishing contact with others. You can accelerate your progress with their support, find out what objections they may have, draw energy from them, and more.

For example, many people think that the shortest path to finding a new job is either via job boards or executive recruiters or both. But, if you are not currently in a job and looking to find the identical one elsewhere, then you will need to reconsider your networking strategy.

Advertised positions are often flooded with applications from very qualified people. So, not only is it quite difficult to get your foot in the door for an interview, it’s also much harder to negotiate, whether about the position itself or the financial package.

Some headhunters may say they are happy to meet you and invest time in you as a future client down the road, but that can’t be their priority. Executive recruiters work to satisfy their clients by finding the manager who fits their specific request — and that request is often to find a clone working at the competition.

I n my experience, the best way to find the job that fits you, and not the reverse, is to network. Networking is also essential to expanding your existing business. But, how do you network strategically?

Networking Rule #1: Networking is not about asking for something. It’s about fine-tuning your professional options. If you ask the manager you contact whether his or her company is hiring, you will reduce your chances of meeting that person or even of getting an answer. Human beings don’t like to have to say “no”. Your goal is to use these contacts to learn about the options that experienced people know about: corporate vs start-up, national vs international, function X or Y. Use networking first to enlarge and then to hone in on your choices -through a series of exploratory appointments.

Networking Rule #2: Achieve your goals through reciprocity and humanity. Treat your contacts as valued and valuable individuals. Remember before, during, and after any contact, to be grateful for the time they are spending in connecting with you. Your gratitude and positive attitude will lead them to want to help you.

Networking Rule #3: Give your correspondent opportunities to shine and to propel you forward. Identify a key alternative you are considering and one on which this person can shed some light. Ask that question early on in the conversation and let him or her run with it. When, at the end of the conversation, they ask you how they can help you, keep it simple. Ask if they know one or two people with whom you can pursue this topic and whether they can write an introductory email to present you to them.

Networking Rule #4: Pursue all recommended contacts with the same approach. Build up your networking base with the recommended contacts of your contacts…Look them up on LinkedIn and follow or connect with them. If you do get an appointment, let the previous contact know. Upon meeting that new person, begin the conversation by reminding how the previous manager came to recommend them. Ask them your strategic question and let them run with it.

Through these 4 networking steps, you will find yourself projected along a path you would not have imagined, and, when you least expect it, that next great opportunity will be yours, because you will have been matched with the company via your network.

PS 1 Don’t forget to keep the people you met along the way informed of your developments.

PS 2 Keep networking! Keep learning! Attend networking functions. Organize one on one appointments. And be responsive to those who seek you out!

Hope this has been useful and let me know how Basil Strategies can assist you, whether in digital health communication and events, or coaching you and your business to greater success.  Denise Silber

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