Don’t restÂ on your networking laurels if you’re in the market for a job — of if you are thinking of starting or growing a business. Once you identify your network, you’ll want to get to work expanding it. You never know who “knows someone who knows someone.” Everyone you meet and impress with your skills and savvy is a potential link to your next great opportunity.
Incorporate these plans into your networking:
Learn how to introduce yourself. This is more important than you may think, and you’ll want to spend time planning out your pitch so it will interest other people, not bore them to tears. (In other words, don’t plan out a two-minute elevator story. It is unlikely to amaze and impress your new contacts.)
Do not go around telling everyone you are looking for a job. No matter what your friends told you, if you focus on your status as a job seeker, people may lose interest in your story from the start.
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Be generous with your expertise and identify ways to help your network. What problems do they have that you can help solve?
Listen carefully. Don’t talk so much when you network. People appreciate a good listener. Let that be you.
Find new places to network. You can meet a new contact while in line at the post office, but it may be worth your time to target professional groups where your target audience is likely to gather.
Track your contacts. Use all the tools at your disposal so you don’t waste any opportunities. If you meet someone and never follow up, that’s a lost opportunity.
Click through for details about these topics, including specifics about how to create a great pitch, how to keep the proverbial doors open when you’re networking, details about waysÂ to be helpful for your network, techniques to be a better listener and suggestions about how to track your contacts.