Selling, marketing, training, promotion? What is QNet all about? All great answers but one word captures it best – relationships. Let’s face it — professional success is a function of who you know and what you know, but the former often ends up being the difference between the best and the rest.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to develop your business or a professional looking to advance your career, developing and honing your networking skills is crucial in gaining a competitive edge. In the networking marketing business, your ability to build relationships could be the difference between success and stasis. So, here are a few ways to elevate your networking skills.
1. Make a lasting impression
Research shows that it can take as little as a tenth of a second to make a first impression. Try to put your best foot forward in this short window. Dress appropriately, approach people with a smile and introduce yourself. Follow it up with a firm handshake and maintain eye contact throughout the interaction. Taking care of the little details can vastly improve your chances of making an excellent first impression.
2. Set an intention
Networking is an investment of time and you should approach it efficiently. You must first establish a purpose. Decide if you’re networking to find new prospects, potential retail customers or distributors for your QNet products, or even a mentor in the QNet system. Having a clear objective will focus your approach and ensure that your time is well utilised.
3. Be a good storyteller
You need to build strong communication skills too. Having a brief and well-rehearsed introduction is essential as people who speak with clarity tend to be viewed as confident, prepared, and professional. An excellent way to start is to talk a little bit about yourself, educational qualifications, current profession, accomplishments, and a few of your passions to round up the summary. To make the conversation more natural, ask these questions of the people you speak with as well. Always remember that confidence does not mean cocky. It is important to showcase that you are humble, curious, and respectful.
4. Showcase your ability to add value
Look to be perceived as someone who can provide value. It’s an effective way to stand out from the crowd. Find ways to make a meaningful contribution to others. If you can’t directly help, recommending someone who could, makes for a powerful statement by demonstrating a genuine desire to help. Even though you haven’t directly benefited from this action, you’ve increased your standing among the individuals that you brought together and may come in handy in the future.
5. Assess your existing network
Chances are that there’s untapped potential in your current network that you’re unaware of. Taking an in-depth look into your existing contacts is beneficial because you might already have good relationships with the people involved and no time is spent establishing initial contact. Identify communities based on the product you’re looking to market. Contacts at gyms/health clubs, for instance, may work well for fitness-related products while parent communities and groups could be ideal for children’s items. Taking some time to assess your networks and create a plan for your approach will generate long-term results.
6. Leverage social media
Having a presence on social media, especially platforms like LinkedIn, is instrumental to networking due to its popularity among professionals and entrepreneurs. It makes the task of establishing new contacts faster and easier and also lets you view networks that people are part of. A professional, crisp, and regularly updated profile is the first step. You could also use publishing tools and groups on various platforms to showcase your expertise.
7. Be patient
Good things take time and networking is no different. Don’t expect immediate results. Be proactive in networking and try not to start right when a need arises. A hurried approach could make you seem desperate and unprofessional. Instead, it’s a good idea to network even if you’re satisfied with your current position as you never know what the future holds.
Remember, networking doesn’t necessarily have to be done at business events or formal settings. Opportunities to network are everywhere. It can be done with anyone, anywhere, even in social contexts. Think of networking as both an art and a science. It requires the use of logic and creativity in equal measures to unleash its full potential. Just like with any other skill, regularly practicing networking strategies will help you get better at it, eventually opening you up to a world of possibilities you never knew existed.
Do you have any networking tips to share? Please tell us in the comments section below.